More than 2 million Indian children to receive the essential nutrients they need to thrive
New Delhi, India -- 1 February 2012. Today the Government of Andhra Pradesh in partnership with GAIN – the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition – launched a partnership that will improve access to more than 2 million children to the essential nutrients they need, especially during their critical growth phase in the 1,000 days from conception to their second birthday. New data indicate that the right nutrition during this important window shapes children’s ability to grow and develop to their full potential.
“India, one of the fastest growing economies, can build on local momentum to lead innovative partnerships to improve maternal and child health,” said Marc Van Ameringen, Executive Director of GAIN, who was present at the launch ceremony. “Without proper nutrition in their early days, children suffer lifelong irreversible physical and mental setbacks.”
In partnership with the Government of Andhra Pradesh, GAIN is supporting AP Foods to expand its capacity in production and quality control, development of better packaging to prolong shelf life, improvement in formulation, adherence to evidence-based national guidelines for food; and demand creation. As part of this initiative, AP Foods has taken the significant step of removing unhealthy fats, known as ‘trans fats’, from all of its products.
The product contains cereals, pulses, oil and sugar processed into a powder form and fortified with vitamins and minerals that can be mixed with water or milk. It is to be given to children in conjunction with breastfeeding and other optimal infant feeding practices as part of an existing national government social welfare program reaching millions of mothers and children on a daily basis – the Integrated Child Development Services Program.
“We take a holistic approach to fighting malnutrition, promoting our product after exclusive breastfeeding till six months of age and appropriate complementary feeding along with breastfeeding from six months to two years of age and beyond,” said Dr. P. Satyanarayana Reddy, Managing Director of AP Foods.
“Locally-driven partnerships like this that build on existing local food cultures have an enormous potential to make a sustainable difference in improving maternal and child malnutrition,” said Jay Naidoo, Chairman of GAIN’s Board of Directors. “These kinds of partnerships should be scaled up as they have the potential to reach the poorest of the poor.”
About GAIN in India The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) is an alliance driven by the vision of a world without malnutrition. GAIN has supported Indian efforts to address malnutrition since 2006. GAIN contributes to the fight against malnutrition in India through innovative cross sector partnerships that can bring impact at scale. More than 100 million people across India will benefit from high quality nutritious foods through GAIN-supported initiatives. Programming areas include: large scale food fortification; agriculture and nutrition; mother, infant and young child nutrition (critical 1,000 days from conception to age two); school feeding; and building policy environments supportive of good nutrition. For more information, please visit: http://www.gainhealth.org/