The World Food Programme (WFP) Regional Centre of Excellence Against Hunger and Malnutrition (CERFAM) has recently organized a high-level consultation on food fortification, in collaboration with the Government of Côte d’Ivoire, the African Union and the West African Organization of Health. The two-day consultation brought together more than 600 participants from 69 countries, with 88 panelists to discuss how to leverage food fortification through a dietary approach to reduce micronutrient deficiencies in Africa.
The consultation facilitated exchanges of experiences and good practices in food fortification at the global, regional and national level.
Some key messages include:
- The need to better regional coordination with stakeholders to accelerate efforts and progress on fortification in Africa in a harmonized way.
- Food fortification needs to be part of a broader food systems approach and integrated with other sectors (i.e., agriculture, education, social development).
- Local solutions and initiatives exist but need to be scaled up and invested in.
Some of the recommendations include:
- Entrust the African Union to formally spearhead and oversee fortification efforts in Africa.
- Create a supportive facility, hosted by CERFAM, to facilitate regional knowledge sharing, coordination and harmonization of policies and frameworks.
- Prioritize actions and investments in food fortification (i.e., in school feeding and during the first 1,000 days of life).
- Create an enabling policy, legal and financial, environment for fortification.
- Develop a clear action plan, coordinated by CERFAM, with roles, responsibilities, accountability, timelines and a funding strategy, to increase systemic and sustainable action on fortification.
- Scale up advocacy, partnership and knowledge sharing to accelerate fortification.
For more information, please contact Christiani Buani.