Khalifa Foundation-funded Food Programme in Afghanistan moving ahead

WAM Kabul, 21st Feb. 2014 (WAM) — A large-scale Food Fortification Programme in Afghanistan, funded by the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation (KBZF) and implemented by the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), is entering a new milestone to reduce deaths and disabilities associated with nutritional deficiencies, particularly among women and children by offering fortified staple foods and condiments (wheat flour, vegetable oil and salt).

The international partnership, which also involves the World Food Programme (WFP), will reach approximately 15 to 18 million Afghans, mainly children, women and pregnant women, 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 goal of the project is to increase the amount of vitamins and minerals in people’s daily diets and to reduce disabilities related to insufficient nutrients by 30 percent.

GAIN is providing financial support and technical expertise to produce the fortified foods, monitor their quality, create demand and develop technical guidelines for fortification.

Towards this end, GAIN office in Kabul is holding a series of meetings with government representatives and food producers and conducting training workshops on stable foods like flour wheat, vegetable oil, ghee, and iodised salt.

And in a boost to the Food Fortification Programme, GAIN has partnered with Afghan National Standards Authority (ANSA) to set food standards for the next three years that cover fortified foods and multiple micronutrient powder (MNP) for under-nutrition children under five years, and lipid-based nutritional supplements for children under two years.

Recently, Gain Kabul office has met representatives of nine government related entities and Afghan Iodized Salt Producers Association (AISPA) and briefed them on the progress of the programme in regards to iodised salt.

Minister of Public Health Mrs. Suraya Dalil expressed her profound thanks to the Khalifa Foundation, affirming that the UAE is a key donor to Afghanistan’s socio-economic development.

WAM/tfaham

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