Food Fortification Program (FFP) Pakistan
Implementing a large-scale food fortification program in Pakistan to fortify wheat flour and edible oil with micronutrients in collaboration with Mott MacDonald.
Improving access to critical micronutrients by institutionalizing large-scale fortification programs.
2022 - 2027
Continuing our work in Pakistan, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, we will help to institutionalize wheat flour and edible oil fortification across the country, ensuring more people have access to critical micronutrients.
Pakistan faces a high burden of micronutrient deficiencies.
The lingering effects of the pandemic, lost livelihoods and high inflation have only exacerbated challenges for people – especially those in the most vulnerable situations – to access quality nutritious foods. Pakistan’s 2018 National Nutrition Survey found that more than half of children suffered from vitamin A deficiency, one in eight adolescent girls were underweight and nearly 57% were anaemic.
Women and adolescent girls already faced steeper barriers to fulfilling their dietary requirements due to social and cultural norms impacting their ability to make decisions, control of resources and lack of knowledge.
Oil fortification has been mandatory in the country since 1965 but was only partially implemented with little government oversight. Nutrition International recently provided technical assistance to strengthen the quality assurance and quality control capacity of government authorities and industry. Mandatory wheat flour fortification laws are slowly being introduced in provinces around the country.
Large-scale food fortification is one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce micronutrient deficiencies.
Building on the successes of the Food Fortification Program, which launched in 2016, and the second iteration which launched in 2021, this project will support the institutionalization of mandatory wheat flour and edible oil fortification in Pakistan.
We will support the provinces and federal government to move the wheat flour fortification program from implementation to institutionalization. We will support the provinces in the final stages of mandatory regulation and provide capacity development and support to the government authorities at different levels to monitor the overall process and effectively enforce it.
To institutionalize edible oil fortification, we will provide assistance so the government can monitor and enforce regulations and ensure adherence to the standards. We will also provide support and guidance to industry so that they can fortify and carry out adequate internal quality assurance and control processes, including the digitization of data and implementation of critical safety parameters.
A gender analysis examining gender roles, norms and relations will be conducted to understand how gender intersects with food fortification programming in Pakistan. The results will be used to recommend more detailed program planning and will look at opportunities to promote women’s leadership and strengthen the role of women in the supply chains.
Increasing access to essential micronutrients.
Institutionalizing both wheat flour and edible oil fortification will increase population-level access to essential micronutrients, especially for women, girls and children, who often face increased barriers to consuming the nutrition they need for good health, and proper growth and development.