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GAIN ups micronutrient fight against global malnutrition

By Shane Starling in Geneva , 09-Feb-2012

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Ten years ago the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) was established to fight rampant malnutrition in the developing world via micronutrient fortification programmes. But for a long time, it struggled to effect change in the face of logistical, financial and educational challenges.

Now, with an ever-growing network of international private and public partners on board, the agency says it is better placed to affect nutrition interventions that can change lives, “in about 25 countries”.

“GAIN is an international development agency that has a vision of a world without malnutrition,” said GAIN’s Nigerian country manager, Larry Umanna, after yesterday’s Feeding the World conference in Geneva.

“We work with various stakeholders on the ground to fortify staple foods such as flour, vegetable oil and sugar with the appropriate micronutrients.”

Umanna said knowledge gains were helping his agency battle a problem that affects more than 1 in 6 of the Earth’s population with bio-fortified foods.

“In the last five years everybody has been talking about the agri-nutrition interface but nothing much has been done,” he said. “In the last one year there has been a renewed enthusiasm towards looking at the linkage between agriculture and nutrition. How do we get agricultural practitioners to apply a nutrition lens on their agricultural programmes?”

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