Noting the Copenhagen Consensus has stated that "large-scale micronutrient fortification is a proven and cost-effective intervention that can mitigate malnutrition in the form of vitamin and mineral deficiencies and enhance the well-being of millions," Marc Van Ameringen, executive director of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), writes in the Huffington Post "Impact" blog, "On September 9, 2012, [GAIN] launched a partnership in Kabul with Afghanistan's Ministry of Public Health, the Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation (KBZF) and the World Food Programme (WFP) to help alleviate the burden of malnutrition in Afghanistan by bringing more nutritious wheat flour, vegetable oil, and ghee to approximately half of the country's population."
"Large vegetable oil and ghee producers and wheat flour millers exporting to -- or producing in -- Afghanistan are important partners in this process, with responsibility for micronutrient fortification locally, and for ensuring that people have access to fortified staples through existing markets," Van Ameringen states. "As Afghanistan's future hangs in the balance with donor funding decreasing and U.S. and NATO forces continuing their withdrawal from the country, the need for long-term, sustainable programs like the partnership -- that are driven by local markets -- will be increasingly essential towards Afghanistan's development," he writes, adding, "Beyond making good investment sense, it is about transforming lives" (9/12).
This article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.