Maternal, Infant and Young Child Nutrition
The Critical 1,000 Day Window of Opportunity for Fighting Malnutrition
Without the proper nutrients from pregnancy through age two, the critical 1,000 days, infants suffer long-term health and economic consequences. Their brains do not develop properly. They learn slowly. They are stunted.
To end the lifelong cycle of malnutrition that begins when infants do not receive proper nutrition, GAIN is supporting a program in maternal, infant and young child nutrition, funded in part by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Public-Private Partnerships to Improve the Nutrition of Ten Million Infants
The program's goal is to improve the health and nutrition of ten million children aged 6 to 24 months. Its strategy is to support public and private partnerships to reach infants in low-income families with multinutrient supplements and high-quality and affordable nutritious foods that complement breast milk from six months of age. Projects involve a range of partners: local businesses, governments, non-governmental organizations, non-profit global venture funds, and UN organizations.
The program combines market and public approaches to address public health needs. Partnerships provide incentives to the private sector to commercialize the foods, supporting local companies with product development, distribution, quality control, and appropriate marketing in support of breastfeeding. They also harness the know-how of the public sector in distributing products to people who need them most.
The program promotes and supports strong national regulatory environments for optimal infant feeding practices and foods, including adherence to international standards and guidelines. All GAIN-supported nutritious food products for infants meet the following international standards: WHO/UNICEF Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding, the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and the FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius.
The portfolio is active in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, India, Kenya and the Philippines.
Multinutrient supplements and nutritious foods
All products celebrate local foods and complement breast milk. They include:
- Multinutrient supplements such as multi-nutrient powders and lipid-based nutrient supplements - single serving sachets of a combination of vitamins, minerals and essential fats that can be added to locally prepared meals. Read more about GAIN’s work and activities in multinutrient supplements
- Affordable nutritious foods for children aged 6 to 24 months, derived from local agriculture (e.g. cereal-based foods). Read more about GAIN’s work and activities around nutritious foods for mothers and children