The Dutch supplier of health and nutritional ingredients will partner with the organisations to focus on reaching mothers and children with nutrition interventions during the crucial first 1,000 days of children’s life - from conception to age 2.
Guided by the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goal’s target of ending hunger and improving nutrition, the partnership will develop scalable models and drive innovation to improve the quality of food and nutrition in Nigeria, with the goal of spurring similar action in other countries where malnutrition is a critical concern.
The partners will also advocate for best practices in micronutrient supplementation on a global scale, said a DSM release.
“Good nutrition is a human right. DSM is proud to partner once again with UNICEF and Sight and Life to improve nutrition in Nigeria and across Africa, especially for vulnerable populations like women and children,” said Feike Sijbesma, CEO and Chairman of the DSM Managing Board. “It is an important step toward achieving a world without hunger and a world in which people everywhere can reach their full potential.”
Good nutrition during the key stages of development in the first 1,000 days of life plays a vital role in supporting children’s physical and cognitive development – and has been linked to life-long benefits.
However, less than 20% of children in Nigeria are fed diets that meet the minimum adequacy for health growth and development, while nearly 40% of children under 5 have stunted growth caused by malnutrition.
“Nutrition is one of the most effective and cost-effective investments we can make — in children’s lives and futures, and in the long-term strength of their societies,” said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake. “Every child has a right to grow up healthy and strong, and this new partnership with Royal DSM and Sight and Life will help more children in Nigeria to realize that right.”
The new partnership builds on joint activity by DSM and UNICEF from 2013-2015 that supported micronutrient powder (MNP) programs in Madagascar and Nigeria. Together the organisations improved nutrition for around 400,000 children in Nigeria through the MNP pilot program.