Tanzania: Tanzania hosts first-ever global summit on food fortification

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (PANA) - Global health leaders and policy makers Wednesday convened in Arusha, northern Tanzania, to address hidden hunger, or a lack of access to micronutrients, and forge a vision and strategy for food fortification as a key pillar in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN and beyond.

The Government of Tanzania has joined the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) and other partners to host the first Future Fortified Summit, which aims to cement support for food fortification ahead of the SDGs review at the United Nations in New York later this month.

King Letsie III of Lesotho, who is spearheading the African Union’s efforts on improved nutrition, is scheduled to officially open the summit later in the day. He arrived in Arusha on Tuesday.

According to GAIN spokesperson Jeremy Sprigge, “the summit has convened global leaders to reinvigorate interest, awareness and investment in food fortification to end the global epidemic of hidden hunger.”

More than 2 billion people worldwide suffer from hidden hunger, which reduces cognitive development, increases maternal and infant mortality and impacts economic productivity, undermining efforts to end global poverty.

Nutritionists maintain that food fortification is a simple, scalable and cost-effective solution that has proven to be effective at eliminating the effects of hidden hunger.

Partners in this initiative include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), UNICEF, USAID, World Food Programme (WFP) and World Health Organization (WHO).

Featured speakers at the summit include Tanzania’s Health and Social Welfare Minister, Dr. Seif Seleman Rashid; Chris Elias, President of BMGF Global Development Programme; Francesco Branca, WHO’s Director of the Department of Nutrition for Health and Development; Shawn Baker, BMGF Director of Nutrition; Martin Bloem, WFP’s Chief Nutrition and HIV/AIDS Policy; and Vinita Bali, Chairman of GAIN.

GAIN was launched at the UN in 2002 as an international organization to tackle the human suffering caused by malnutrition.

It acts as a catalyst - building alliances among governments, business and civil society - to find and deliver solutions to the complex problem of malnutrition.
-0- PANA AR/SEG 9Sept2015

09 september 2015 09:15:09

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