New Food Fortification Partnership to Reach 15 Million Afghans with More Nutritious Foods

Project with the Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation (KBZF), the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) and the World Food Programme (WFP) to Support Afghanistan's Ministry of Public Health’s Nutrition Action Framework.

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We are pleased to support this national initiative that will make a real difference in the everyday lives of millions by engaging multiple partners across different sectors.

Kabul, Afghanistan (PRWEB) September 09, 2012

Afghanistan’s Ministry of Public Health, the Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation (KBZF), the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) and the World Food Programme (WFP) today launched a partnership that will reach approximately 15 million Afghans with nutritionally fortified wheat flour, vegetable oil and ghee. The partnership aims to reduce the prevalence of vitamin and mineral deficiencies among the general population and vulnerable groups such as children under five and women of reproductive age, through a project supporting the Government’s Nutrition Action Framework to address malnutrition.

The project will bring on board the largest vegetable oil producers and wheat flour millers exporting to or producing in Afghanistan while equipment and nutrient blends will be provided to industry along with training in quality assurance.

“The contributions of KBZF, GAIN and WFP are much appreciated - in these difficult times of recovery, the project will strengthen the health of our people and our economy,” said Dr. Suraya Dalil, the Minister of Public Health in Afghanistan.

“As the main donor to the project, we are excited to see local ownership across sectors and look forward to achieving the results and milestones we have set,” said Mr. Mohammed Haji Al Khoori, Executive Director of KBZF, an independent entity based in Abu Dhabi with the mission of delivering humanitarian aid and services to poor populations.

“Access to good nutrition is a human right that no individual should be denied. We are pleased to support this national initiative that will make a real difference in the everyday lives of millions by engaging multiple partners across different sectors,” said Marc Van Ameringen, Executive Director of GAIN. GAIN is providing financial support and technical expertise to produce the fortified foods, monitor their quality, create demand and develop technical guidelines for fortification.

Louis Imbleau, WFP Afghanistan Country Director and Representative added, “Chronic malnutrition, especially among women and children, is a terrible burden for the people of Afghanistan, both in terms of health and economic productivity. Micronutrient fortification is a cost-efficient intervention that can really help tackle this problem.” WFP, the world’s largest humanitarian organization fighting hunger worldwide, is the key agency supporting overall program implementation in Afghanistan.

About KBZF
The Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation (KBZF) for Humanitarian Affairs was established in Abu Dhabi in 2007 as an independent entity dedicated to delivering humanitarian aid and services to poor populations, particularly children and women. Globally, the humanitarian action of KBZF extends to large areas of the world and is articulated around two main axes: the first is the immediate response to emergencies and crises; and the second builds sound and well planned partnerships with selected international bodies and institutions to support the implementation of their health and education projects and initiatives.

About GAIN
Driven by a vision of a world without malnutrition, GAIN was created in 2002 at a Special Session of the U.N. General Assembly on Children. GAIN supports public-private partnerships to increase access to the missing nutrients in diets necessary for people, communities and economies to be stronger and healthier. With a current daily reach of over 610 million people (half of whom are women and children) in more than 30 countries GAIN’s goal is to improve the lives of 1.5 billion people within the most vulnerable populations around the world through access to sustainable nutrition solutions. For more information, please visit us at http://www.gainhealth.org, follow us on Twitter @GAINalliance and like us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/GAINalliance.

About WFP
WFP has been working in Afghanistan since 1963, and is a neutral humanitarian organisation whose aim it is to help Afghans build a hunger-free future for themselves and their country. WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. Each year, on average, WFP feeds more than 90 million people in more than 70 countries.

Media contacts
Afghanistan Ministry of Public Health:
Dr. Hafiz Fayaz, Communications Manager, Tel: + 93 20 230 13 74, Email: dr.hafiz.fayaz (at) gmail (dot) com

The Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation:
Farkhunda Bastaki, Media and Communications Manager, Tel: +971 (50) 6320055, Email: falbastaki (at) khalifafoundation (dot) ae

Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition:
Dr. Mohibullah Wahdati, Afghanistan Country Manager, Tel: +93 (0) 793 558 788, Email: mwahdati (at) gainhealth (dot) org
Karie Atkinson, Communications Associate, Tel: +41 76 706 18 29, Email: katkinson (at) gainhealth (dot) org

World Food Programme:
Silke Buhr, Afghanistan Public Information Officer, Tel: +93 797 662 116, Email: silke.buhr (at) wfp (dot) org - for Dari/Pashtu queries: Wahidullah Amani, Public Information Officer,
Tel: +93 (0) 793 700 471, Email: wahidullah.amani (at) wfp (dot) org


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