On the 9th May 2002, GAIN was founded with the aim of tackling human suffering caused by malnutrition.
Over the past 20 years, we have been working with governments, businesses and civil society to transform food systems so that they deliver more nutritious foods for all people, especially the most vulnerable.
"GAIN was created with a laser focus on tackling malnutrition through fortifying staple foods. Twenty years on, we retain the focus on nutritious foods as our contribution to ending malnutrition, but we have expanded the scope of our work in two ways. First we focus on a much wider range of nutritious foods: vegetables, fruits, pulses, eggs, nuts, dairy, fish and other animal sourced foods. All are important to healthy diets in various contexts. Second, we focus on the full range of joined up food system interventions: in food growing, storage and transport, processing, marketing, advertising and preparation.
We aim to make nutritious and safe foods accessible to everyone, especially the most vulnerable, to help end hunger and attain healthy diets for all, in ways that are good for the environment. Partnerships are fundamental to our work. We work with -and connect- governments, development agencies, businesses (small medium and large), civil society, and consumers – everyone who has a part to play in making safe and nutritious foods easier to get, more affordable, and preferred over unhealthier foods.
Please join us" - Our Executive Director Lawrence Haddad
View our journey so far and we look forward to celebrating the next 20 years and beyond!
people accessed fortified food through GAIN
of the entire population of the world
citations to GAIN’s knowledge products
Scroll through 20 years of GAIN
Click the dates to discover the milestones of our organization
GAIN was launched
The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) - a Swiss-based foundation - was launched at the United Nations in 2002 to tackle the human suffering caused by malnutrition. Working with governments, businesses and civil society, we aim to transform food systems so that they deliver more nutritious foods for all people, especially the most vulnerable.
Investing in the future: a united call to action on vitamin and mineral deficiencies
In partnership with the Flour Fortification Initiative, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Bank, UNICEF and the Micronutrient Initiative, we contributed to the publication of the 2009 report "Investing in the Future: A united call to action on vitamin and mineral deficiencies".
The report called on governments and other partners to increase investments in life-saving vitamins and minerals and provides concrete recommendations to improve the delivery of supplements and fortified food to women and children around the world.
A child in Indonesia
At the 2009 GAIN Business Alliance Global Forum in the Netherlands, the Amsterdam Initiative on Malnutrition (AIM) is launched by GAIN, the Government of the Netherlands, Unilever, DSM, AkzoNobel and Wageningen University. The initiative aims to eliminate malnutrition for 100 million people in Africa by 2015 and will grow through public private partnerships.
The GAIN Premix Facility (GPF) was launched to tackle the challenges that many companies and organizations involved in food fortification face in accessing reliable sources of quality, affordable micronutrient premix, a commercially prepared blend of vitamins and minerals used to fortify staple foods. An estimated 60 million consumers are being provided with higher quality nutrition through GPF. GAIN received funding from the Khalifa Bin Zayed al Nahyan Foundation in the United Arab Emirates to deliver complementary nutrition interventions that will benefit more than 15 million people in Afghanistan
GAIN's new legal status
The Swiss government granted a special legal status to GAIN as an international organization under the Swiss Federal Act on Privileges, Immunities, Facilities and Financial Aid. The agreement was co-signed in Bern on behalf of the Federal Council of Switzerland by Ambassador Valentin Zellweger, Director of the International Law Department of the Swiss Foreign Affairs Ministry, and by GAIN’s Executive Director Marc Van Ameringen.
GAIN's Marketplace for Nutritious Foods
Initiated an Agriculture and Nutrition Program, which began work on the Marketplace for Nutritious Foods in Kenya, Mozambique and Tanzania. The "Marketplace" aimed to improve the nutritional quality, affordability, and variety of food in the diets of the malnourished. It does this by investing in local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with innovative ideas that, once realized, will improve the way food is grown, stored, processed, and consumed.
One of the Marketplace business
Crates of tomatoes in Nigeria
Assessing one of the Marketplace projects in Africa
Opened new offices in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Ghana, Indonesia and Singapore.
Ten years: half a billion lives changed
GAIN’s goal is to improve the lives of vulnerable populations around the world through access to affordable, better quality, nutritious foods.
We aim to reach one billion people. After ten years, our programs are already reaching more than 530 million including 250 million women and children and demonstrating public health impact:
- 30% reduction in anemia among women of child bearing age in sentinel sites in China
- 30% reduction in neural tube defects in new borns in South Africa
- 14% reduction in micronutrient deficiencies in young children in Kenya
We work to reduce malnutrition by mobilising public private partnerships that implement innovative and sustainable market-based solutions at scale.
Launch of ATNI
In partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust, GAIN launched the Access to Nutrition Index (ATNI), a new global initiative that evaluates food and beverage manufacturers on their policies, practices and performance related to obesity and undernutrition.
Five years after the start of the GAIN Premix facility it reached more than 150 million people with quality premix for fortification of staple foods.
Twenty blenders, 40 micronutrient suppliers and five micronutrient powder producers supplied more than USD47 million in premix to 41 countries.
Launch of FACT
Launch of the first Fortification Assessment Coverage Toolkit (FACT) in Senegal in order to understand better how large scale food fortification programs impact public health.
GAIN Nordic Partnership
Established in 2014 by the five founding partners: Arla Foods Ingredients, Tetra Pak, Danchurch Aid, the Confederation of Danish Industry and GAIN. It is a multi-sector platform with an ambition to facilitate scalable and inclusive business models that enhance the nutritional value of food in developing countries. The platform brings together Nordic companies, civil society, academia and the public sector in a forum for collaboration, action and knowledge sharing.
GAIN Better Dairy event together with WFP
Charlotte Pedersen, Head of GAIN Nordic, speaking at an event
Global Summit on Food Fortification
Together with The Government of Tanzania and other development partners (African Union, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Scaling Up Nutrition Movement, UNICEF, USAID and the World Food Programme) convened the first Global Summit on Food Fortification in September 2015. The three day event, part of international efforts to reinvigorate interest, awareness and investment in food fortification, was attended by 30 governments from countries suffering the highest levels of micronutrient malnutrition. It offered the opportunity to assess lessons learned and to forge a shared strategy to highlight the role of food fortification in food security and within the Sustainable Development Goals.
The Summit culminated in the Arusha Statement on Food Fortification.
Marc Van Ameringen speaking at the Food Fortification Summit in 2015
Jay Naidoo, Chairman of the GAIN Board of Directors, speaking at the Summit
The POSHAN project
Started two new maternal, infant and young child nutrition projects in India, addressing both chronic and acute malnutrition. Firstly, in collaboration with the World Bank and the Karnataka Health Promotion Trust, we support women groups producing nutritious supplementary foods for 40,000 children in the State of Karnataka.
With the second project, together with UNICEF and ACF, we supported the Rajasthan Nutrition and Health Mission in a large-scale pilot of community-based treatment of 9,000 severely acutely malnourished children in 13 districts in the State of Rajasthan.
Kids enrolled in the POSHAN project
One of the families enrolled in the POSHAN project
The UNICEF-GAIN Partnership Project
Successfully closed the Gates-funded GAIN-UNICEF Universal Salt Iodization project in December 2015 which helped protect an additional 466 million people against iodine deficiency, including 113 million children.
Universal Salt Iodization, which has been implemented around the world, helped decrease the number of countries classified as iodine deficient from 54 in 2003 to 25 in 2015.
Woman packing salt in a market
Man holding salt in his hands
Lawrence Haddad appointed new Executive Director of GAIN.
Lawrence Haddad chosen as the new Executive Director for GAIN
The fortification Technical Advisory Group (TAG)
Following the first ever global summit on food fortification in Tanzania in September 2015, we led over 20 partners as part of a fortification Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to consolidate the event's ground-breaking findings and map a way forward for partners.
A report published on the Future Fortified summit drew attention to the potential of food fortification to cost effectively reach billions of people with essential micronutrients. It emphasized the need for investment, better standards and regulation, and improved evidence gathering to make programs even more effective.
GAIN turns 15!
In 2017 GAIN celebrated its 15th Anniversary.
Panel discussion at GAIN 15 anniversary
Organic cakes to celebrate GAIN 15 Anniversary
Lawrence Haddad speaking at GAIN 15 Anniversary
Launch of GAIN New strategy
During the reporting period (1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017), the GAIN Board conducted a wide-ranging consultation and adopted a new five-year strategy (2017–2022). This strategy confirmed GAIN’s purpose to advance nutrition outcomes by improving the consumption of nutritious and safe food for all people, especially those most vulnerable to malnutrition. In particular, we aimed to improve the consumption of safe and nutritious foods for – at a minimum – one billion people over the next five years and target major improvements to the food system, delivering more diverse and healthier diets for vulnerable citizens in countries where we work.
Published the FACT Manual and practical tools and templates
Published the FACT Manual and tools, which enables provides step-by-step guidance on how to decide, design, and conduct a FACT survey. Information generated by a FACT survey can be used by decision makers to improve fortification programmes by documenting successes and identifying gaps
Launch of Making Markets Work (MMW)
Making Markets Work (MMW) supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Netherlands; the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany (BMZ); Irish Aid; the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation; the International Development Research Center (Canada); and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) developed Nutrition Connect (a resource hub for what works for nutrition in the public-private space, www.nutritionconnect.org) and a Food Systems Dashboard: a new tool to bring together public and private data on different components of the food system to assess where it needs most attention to strengthen nutrition outcomes.
Executive Course - Together for Nutrition
Developed the first ever Executive Course, in partnership with Unilever, on public-private engagement in nutrition, which was positively assessed by its 25 participants from public and private sectors globally.
The participants of the Executive Course
The GAIN Paper Series
Launched a new series of papers to disseminate the learning from GAIN’s programmes to diverse stakeholders in tailored formats.
The launch of the Commercialisation of biofortified crops (CBC)
GAIN launched a major new partnership with HarvestPlus, to work to expand the reach of their nutritious varieties of staple crops through commercialisation.
GAIN and HarvestPlus celebrate new partnerships
GAIN and HarvestPlus announce a new partnership
Signed several new MOUs in the year, including with the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) (to link our SME work better with smallholder farmers); Euromonitor (to access retail sales data); the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) (on our urban and SME programmes), and the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) (workforce).
GAIN invited to be a core partner of two important influencing initiatives, the Food Systems Dialogues, and the Food and Land Use Coalition (FOLU).
Lawrence Haddad signs a MoU with Agnes Kalibata
EatSafe: Evidence and Action Towards Safe, Nutritious Food, is a USAID-funded, five-year multi-country programme aiming to enable lasting improvements in the safety of nutritious foods in traditional markets by focusing on consumer demand. EatSafe is unique in its design, highlighting the intersection of nutrition, health, and food safety and how this intersection affects local economies, food systems, and consumer behaviour
Keeping Food Markets Working and Response to the pandemic
As a response to COVID-19, in 2020 and 2021, GAIN provided $16m to maintain food supplies in Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Tanzania, Rwanda, Egypt, Bangladesh, Indonesia, India, and Pakistan. We provided emergency financial support to over 160 food SMEs providing an additional 50 million servings of nutritious foods (fruits, vegetables, animal-source foods (ASFs), biofortified and fortified foods, etc.). We supported 38,402 key food workers (54% female) via vouchers or take-home family food rations.
a factory worker with a mask pouring beans into a tray
Launch of the Food Systems Dashboard
Launch of the Food Systems Dashboard
The UN Food Systems Summit
Active influencing and participation in the UN Food Systems Summit and The Nutrition for Growth summit. GAIN enhanced her reputation during the Summit processes going by the different quotes and comments from leading organizations and international thought leaders.
GAIN led and supported two major new initiatives: the Act4FoodAct4Change and the Zero Hunger Private Sector Pledge.
Maureen Muketha speaking live at UNFSS
Lawrence Haddad speaking at UNFSS
Lancet Adolescent Nutrition Series
Continued our contribution to a Lancet series on adolescent health which was launched at the Nutrition for Growth Summit in December 2021.
Welcome to 20!
GAIN Turns 20!