DSM and Herbalife are providing 20m micronutrient sachets to a campaign to tackle maternal and infant malnutrition – with Ethiopia and Kenya the first ports-of-call.
The Future Fortified project – announced this week in New York City at the Clinton Global Initiative – will deliver the 20m sachets to the Horn of Africa, where it is estimated about 12m people are at risk of disease due to malnutrition compounded by regional conflicts, drought and escalating food prices.
The campaign is headed by the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) and the 1000 Days Partnership which focuses on improving nutrition during the first 1000 days of a child’s life. GAIN said malnutrition kills 3.5 million under-5s each year, “and impairs hundreds of thousands of growing minds”.
GAIN executive director, Marc Van Ameringen, said the project sought expansion in both reach and partners.
“As we kick off the Future Fortified campaign, we are eager to engage individuals, businesses and organizations to prevent malnutrition around the world, particularly for the most vulnerable populations of women and children,” he said at the launch attended by US Senator Hilary Clinton.
Of the initiative, Senator Clinton said: “We helped create a public-private partnership called 1000 Days to improve nutrition during the critical period in human development from the start of pregnancy through a child’s second birthday, when adequate nutrition can have a life-changing impact on a child’s future.”
“The 1000 Days partnership in turn supports the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) movement, which encourages increased commitment to and alignment of nutrition investments at the country level.”
A Herbalife spokesperson told NutraIngredients this morning that it was the first time his company had engaged in a philanthropic mission of such scale – with previous efforts confined to local partnerships with organisations promoting infant and children’s nutrition in 66 countries.
“At this stage we are providing financial support for the project but are looking to identify where we can add further value,” he said.
The MixMe powder sachets are provided by DSM and contain vitamin A, iodine, iron, zinc and folic acid.
“DSM is committed to help alleviate micronutrient deficiencies around the world, especially among those women and children most in need,” said DSM’s managing board member, Stephan Tanda.
“Working in partnership with GAIN and Herbalife through the Future Fortified campaign, we will help address today’s crisis and highlight to policy makers and the public at large the importance of nutrition for the sustainable development of healthy and productive societies.”
For more about Future Fortified click here.