Second Global Summit on Food Fortification: UNICEF Executive Director: "Food fortification is key during the COVID-19 pandemic.”


Geneva, 6 November 2020 - 

The Second Global Summit on Food Fortification Virtual Series will kick off today November 6th with a high-level launch event as part of the Micronutrient Forum Global Conference CONNECTED. This year’s Summit will gather thousands of experts on food fortification, staple crop biofortification, food systems, and nutrition. Due to COVID-19 the Summit will go fully digital.

We estimate that at least one in two of the world’s children suffers from hidden hunger - deficiencies in vitamins and other essential nutrients.

Henrietta Fore, Executive Director, UNICEF

All sessions are broadcast live online, free of charge and available here.

Opening speaker Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director, said: "We estimate that at least one in two of the world’s children suffers from hidden hunger - deficiencies in vitamins and other essential nutrients. Large scale fortification and biofortification can help us address this issue." 

Andreas Bluethner, Director of Nutrition at The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation calls for worldwide solidarity: "The worldwide COVID crisis puts millions of people additionally at risk of poverty and malnutrition. We need governments, donors and private sector to partner for resilient nutrition programs, such as staple foods fortified with essential nutrients. Adequate nutrition is a human right and an outstanding investment in a nations health, educational opportunities and productivity at marginal cost."

Hands holding grains

Adequate nutrition is a human right and an outstanding investment in a nations health, educational opportunities and productivity at marginal cost. 

Chef Manifesto, Deepanker Khosa or DK, from Thailand says in a recorded video: "The average grain of rice is a great source of carbs, but not much else. Fortified rice enables added nutrition, and you don’t even notice the difference."

Adequate nutrition is a human right and an outstanding investment in a nations health, educational opportunities and productivity at marginal cost.

Andreas Bluethner, Director of Nutrition, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

"Food fortification is the groundwork of our response to malnutrition today and an investment into the future," said Lawrence Haddad, GAIN Executive Director, World Food Prize winner and lead of action track one of the United Nations Food Systems Summit. "Integrating food fortification will make a strong and sustainable food system resilient," he added.

Food fortification is the groundwork of our response to malnutrition today and an investment into the future.

Lawrence Haddad, Executive Director, GAIN

"Food fortification and crop biofortification are complementary interventions that can ensure all people can get the essential micronutrients they need for good nutrition and health. It is time to rapidly scale them up to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals," said Arun Baral, CEO of HarvestPlus, the global leader in biofortification. 

Food fortification and crop biofortification are complementary interventions that can ensure all people can get the essential micronutrients they need for good nutrition and health.

Arun Baral, CEO, HarvestPlus

"The message of the Summit is clear: world’s focus right now should be to mitigate effects of COVID-19 on nutrition, fortifying the most common and available foods at a large scale is one way to go. The convening power of the Summit within the Micronutrient Forum aims to catalyse efforts to prompt progress on the global fortification agenda, bringing innovation and a strategic roadmap for the next five years. Our resolve has never been stronger." said Saskia Osendarp, the Executive Director/President Micronutrient Forum.

The message of the Summit is clear: world’s focus right now should be to mitigate effects of COVID-19 on nutrition, fortifying the most common and available foods at a large scale is one way to go.

Saskia Osendarp, Executive Director/President, Micronutrient Forum

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