GAIN’s effectiveness in reducing malnutrition confirmed in its new Annual Report

Date: 
17 December 2009

Geneva, 17 December 2009, GAIN - the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition released today its 2008-2009 Annual Report. The report confirms the effectiveness of GAIN’s work in reducing malnutrition in high-burden countries. GAIN’s national food fortification projects are reaching more than 200 million people, including more than 108.3 million women and young children. “Our attention to measuring the impact of our programs has brought a more rigorous approach to program design,” said Marc Van Ameringen, Executive Director of GAIN. “Our multi-stakeholder national food fortification projects are reaching large scale populations:”

According to FAO, more than 1 billion people will suffer from hunger in 2009. “The current global financial crisis has aggravated an already severe situation of world hunger and poverty,” said Jay Naidoo, chair of GAIN Board. “GAIN believes solutions exist to improve nutrition for those most at risk. Improving the diet, particularly of mothers and children, is integral to addressing the global targets of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).”

Infants from conception up to two years of age are the most vulnerable to the long term negative consequences of malnutrition. The first twenty four months of life represent the period of highest vulnerability but also the greatest window of opportunity for investments in healthy development. This year, GAIN’s Infant and Young Child Nutrition Program (IYCN) awarded grants in Bangladesh, Côte d’Ivoire and India to produce and deliver high quality multi-nutrient powders and complementary food to vulnerable children and low-income families. The goal of this program is to improve nutrition and reduce anemia in at least ten million children aged 6 to 24 months old.

 

Main achievements

Ø  As of June 2009, GAIN’s national food fortification projects are reaching an estimated 200.3 million people, including 108.3 million women and young children. 55 percent of these individuals are in Africa, 42.7 percent are in Asia and 2.3 percent are in Latin America. 65 percent of individuals were reached with multiple micronutrients, which include iron, zinc, folic acid and B vitamins. 

Ø  Fortification costs US$ 0.30 per person per year. GAIN is on track to reduce the cost of its large scale fortification efforts to US$ 0.25 per person covered, providing further evidence of the cost effectiveness of fortification as a public health intervention. 

Ø  Total expenditure on programs during the year was US$ 27.6 million (FY 2007-2008, US$ 21.5 million). In line with previous years the largest proportion was spent on national food fortification projects at over 35 percent (FY 2007-2008, 39 percent).

Ø  Support for GAIN is comprised of grants from donors, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, CIDA, USAID, the Dutch Government, the Khalifa Bin Zayef Foundation and the Wellcome Trust.

Ø  This Annual Report appears only 6 months after the 2007-2008 Annual Report. It is the first to be produced on a new timeline aligned more closely with the end of the financial year on June 30. Subsequent reports will be published each December.

 

2008-2009 Highlights

Ø  Egypt: In partnership with the UN World Food Programme (WFP) and the Egyptian Ministry of Social Solidarity an estimated 9.5 million Egyptians were reached with widely-consumed government subsidized fortified Baladi bread (nearly three times as many people as in 2008). Building on this success a new project fortifying vegetable oil with Vitamin A will be launched in 2010. GAIN will provide equipment, premix and technical support in production and quality control.

Ø  Morocco: GAIN will continue to support the fortified vegetable oil and wheat flour project to extend its reach and deepen its impact. The first phase aimed to reduce micronutrient deficiencies (particularly vitamin A, vitamin D and folate deficiencies, and iron deficiency anemia) among women of reproductive age and was implemented by Morocco’s Ministry of Health in collaboration with UNICEF. The project achieved a number of results including: fortifying 33 percent of the national wheat flour market and more than 71 percent of the national vegetable oil market. The first phase of the project reached more than 22 million people.

Ø  Innovative financing mechanisms: GAIN’s joint funds with financial institutions, not-for-profit global venture funds made their first investments in our Infant and Young Child Nutrition Program (IYCN).

Ø  IYCN: GAIN provided US$ 2.9 million to Renata Limited, a manufacturer of human and animal health products, and BRAC, one of the biggest NGOs in the developing world, to build and operate an innovative business model to produce and deliver multi-nutrient powders to vulnerable infants in Bangladesh. In Côte d’Ivoire, GAIN awarded US$ 3.1 million to Protein Kissèe-La, a privately owned agro-industrial company, and Helen Keller International, to build a partnership to deliver a high quality fortified porridge product that is locally produced and affordable for low-income families. In India GAIN signed a US$ 1.8 million grant with Andhra Pradesh Foods, a government-owned food company, to improve the quality of the company’s complementary food that is distributed to large populations of vulnerable children through the Integrated Child Development Service (ICDS) in the state of Andhra Pradesh. ICDS, a national development program started by the Government of India in 1975, aims to improve the health of mothers and children less than six years old by providing health and nutrition education, health services, supplementary food and pre-school education.

Ø  Global Premix Facility (GPF): In preparation for its launch on 1 July 2009 GAIN completed a review of best practices in procurement, certification and financing across numerous private, public and development organizations. The GPF was successfully launched and is now fulfilling orders for premix to customers around the world. Early results have been encouraging with substantial reductions in premix costs, as well as a growing pipeline of customer orders.

Ø  Food Fortification Guidelines: In 2008-2009 GAIN undertook a thorough review of its large scale food fortification projects, following the emergence of revised international guidelines for vitamin and mineral fortification of wheat and maize flour.[1] The purpose of the review was to assess project adherence to the guidelines and to make preliminary recommendations for change where appropriate.

Ø  Business Alliance: GAIN welcomed Ajinomoto, Fortitech and AkzoNobel as new members of the GAIN Business Alliance, an expanding global business network dedicated to addressing malnutrition through market-based solutions. Despite the financial crisis, the GAIN Business Alliance grew to 12 members in 2009, signaling that companies are still interested in investing in product development for the world’s most vulnerable populations.

 

What they said about GAIN

“GAIN is an example of a platform that is turning into a movement for better food and nutrition security. With GAIN playing a key convening role, we have moved beyond public private partnerships based on corporate social responsibility to opportunities for businesses to make a real impact in ways that also contribute to their markets and profitability. I am referring to both local and global businesses”, said David Nabarro, Coordinator of the UN System High Level Task Force on the Global Food Crisis, about GAIN at the annual GAIN Business Alliance Forum in Amsterdam in May 2009.

 

Background information

The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) is an alliance driven by the vision of a world without malnutrition. GAIN was created in 2002 at a Special Session of the UN General Assembly on Children. GAIN is a Swiss foundation that mobilizes public-private partnerships and provides financial and technical support to deliver healthier foods and supplements to those people most at risk of malnutrition. Our innovative partnership projects in 26 countries are reaching over 200 million people with fortified foods. Our project portfolio is growing and our goal is to reach one billion people. GAIN is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. GAIN’s offices in Beijing, Cairo, Johannesburg, and New Delhi support projects in the field.

Media contact. Frédérique Tissandier. [email protected]

 




[1] World Health Organization, Recommendations on Wheat and Maize Flour Fortification Meeting Report: Interim Consensus Statement. 2009

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