USAID’s AFFORD project will work with the private sector and other stakeholders to improve nutrition, health and economic growth by supporting large-scale food fortification.
COVID-19, climate change and political instability have led to increased food prices and supply chain disruptions, weakening food security locally and regionally. These challenges hit those in the most vulnerable situations, especially women and children in low- and middle-income countries, the hardest. Efforts to increase the consumption of micronutrients have long included a focus on diversifying and improving diets but have struggled to reach those in vulnerable situations.
Large-scale food fortification of staple foods and condiments is a proven low-cost, high-impact intervention that can meaningfully contribute to reducing micronutrient deficiencies. Other fortification pathways, such as biofortification and micronutrient powders have not yet matched the success of large-scale food fortification.
At the 2021 United Nations Food Systems Summit, large-scale food fortification was presented as a game-changer, with the potential to benefit nearly half of the world’s population. Currently, more than 140 countries mandate at least one form of food fortification, indicating widespread support for the program.