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Strengthening the next generation

Lack of essential vitamins and minerals is the main cause of ‘hidden hunger’, so named because it tends not to show any outward symptoms.

Project Food Fortification programme, Pakistan

ClientUK Aid

ExpertiseProject and programme management

Malnutrition threatens the lives and life chances of two billion adults and children across the globe. We are tackling hidden hunger in Pakistan, where up to 37.5 million people are undernourished, limiting their ability to fight disease and causing long-term development issues in children. Our team is managing the Food Fortification programme (FFP), a five-year UK aid-funded scheme. Food fortification involves adding micronutrients to foods that are widely consumed, and is a proven, affordable means of strengthening immune systems and improving public health. Backed by specialist expertise from Nutrition International, FFP aims to enhance the lives of millions of children and women of childbearing age, who are particularly vulnerable to malnutrition, by improving their access to nutritious and safely fortified wheat flour and edible oil.

FFP could contribute to halving neural tube defects in new-born babies, according to forecasts, while iron deficiency anaemia among children under five would fall by more than 13%, and vitamin A deficiency among woman and children by a quarter.

Malnourishment affects cognitive and physical development, reducing the ability to learn. Food fortification ensures a healthier start in life in the crucial first 1000 days of a child’s development, ultimately leading to higher education outcomes.

Women of childbearing age are at severe risk from malnutrition. Adding vital nutrients to food will mean safer pregnancies and lower maternal mortality rates.

Pakistan is losing 2-3% of annual GDP annually due to malnutrition. Food fortification is a very cost-effective public health intervention, delivering a high return on investment – US$8 for every US$1 spent – through improved productivity and reduced healthcare costs.

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