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London, UNITED KINGDOM― Nutrition International and UNFPA, the United Nations Populations Fund, announced today at the Family Planning Summit 2020 in London, a partnership to provide services integrating family planning and nutrition to improve women and adolescent girls’ health.

As part of its Nutrition Leverage and Influence for Transformation (N-LIFT) initiative, funded by the Government of Canada through Global Affairs Canada, Nutrition International will invest up to $2 million (CAD) to incorporate nutrition components into existing UNFPA sexual and reproductive health services.

The partnership hopes to increase the benefits to women and girls reached by UNFPA family planning services by offering a range of nutrition interventions.

“Access to essential family planning and nutrition increases the potential of adolescent girls to grow, learn, earn and lead,” said the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Canada’s Minister for International Development and La Francophonie. “Finding innovative ways to better reach them with essential services is key to ending intergenerational cycles of poor health, malnutrition and poverty.”
“Integrating nutrition into family planning programming makes sense, because they mutually reinforce each other,” says Luz Maria De-Regil, Director of Global Technical Services and Chief Technical Advisor, Nutrition International. “We are excited about this new partnership with UNFPA because integrating those two components will be truly game changing for hundreds of thousands of women and girls, and potentially millions more. ”

This investment will initially focus on integrating nutrition and family planning in Nigeria and Senegal. Leveraging UNFPA family planning and maternal health services, the partnership has the potential to scale up to reach 15 million women and girls annually.

Through this partnership, Nutrition International and UNFPA will:

  • Reach women and girls in Nigeria and Senegal with the integration of iron and folic acid, nutrition education and counselling services into existing UNFPA family planning platforms;
  • Leverage UNFPA family planning and maternal health services delivered through government-run clinics and civil society organizations;
  • Generate evidence for future scale up through UNFPA programmes; and
  • Support global efforts to reduce iron deficiency anemia, low birth weight, and neural tube defects, and increase access to reproductive health services.
“We are pleased to collaborate with Nutrition International to leverage our global thought leadership and programming to increase our impact on the health of women and adolescent girls, who are among the world’s most underserved populations,” said Gifty Addico, who heads the UNFPA Supplies Programme. “By working together to use existing platforms to reach these vulnerable groups in new ways, we will save even more lives and help achieve FP2020 and the world’s Sustainable Development Goals.”

With an anchor investment provided by the Government of Canada, N-LIFT is a business model created by Nutrition International to help build innovative partnerships and promote co-investments to scale up nutrition reach and resources so that more women, girls, and young children have access to proven nutrition solutions.