The opportunity

Micronutrient deficiencies most severely impact economically vulnerable populations.

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.

our solution

Safely and sustainably scaling large-scale food fortification to improve micronutrient consumption.

While previous food fortification efforts have largely been driven by government health agendas, this project places food processors at the centre, recognizing that industry buy-in is critical to building a sustainable large-scale food fortification system. Through the USAID AFFORD activity, part of the Feed the Future Initiative, we will work with TechnoServe, the Food Fortification Initiative, and ISF Advisors to engage the public and private sectors, and civil society at the national, regional, and global levels to address barriers to large-scale food fortification and scale and sustain these programs, using timely, localized data to improve decision-making.

Malnutrition requires a whole-of-society response so, together with our partners, we will cut across sectors to work with key stakeholders to enhance and scale realistic tools for surveillance, training, monitoring and evaluation, and accountability. An enabling environment that supports large-scale food fortification is key, so we will work with government to ensure the right legislation and regulations are in place and help build capacity to plan and finance for fortification activities.

We will also coordinate with actors at every level to ensure they have adequate knowledge, resources, and incentives to complement efforts to build scaled, sustained, and inclusive large-scale food fortification programs.

The impact

Sustainably scaling up large-scale food fortification

This activity will support the establishment of safe and sustainable large-scale food fortification of staples and condiments, helping to improve diets and reduce micronutrient inadequacies in populations, particularly women and children.