31 Oct 2017 --- Royal DSM, UN children’s agency UNICEF and Swiss-based humanitarian nutrition think tank Sight and Life have partnered to deliver better nutrition to at-risk children and mothers in Nigeria. The partners will also advocate on a global scale for micronutrient supplementation. As part of the project, DSM is to offer essential vitamins, nutrients and fortification solutions as well as expertise that complements the research, programs, and global reach of UNICEF and Sight and Life.
The partnership will focus on reaching mothers and children with nutrition interventions during the crucial first 1,000 days of children’s lives, from conception to age 2. Good nutrition during this period plays a vital role in supporting children’s physical and cognitive development with lifelong benefits.
Less than 20 percent of children in Nigeria are fed diets that meet the minimum adequacy for health growth and development and nearly 40 percent of children under 5 have stunted growth, a condition caused by malnutrition.
The new partnership builds on joint activity by DSM and UNICEF from 2013-2015 that supported micronutrient powder (MNP) programs in Madagascar and Nigeria. Together the organizations already improved nutrition for about 400,000 children in Nigeria through the MNP pilot program.
“Good nutrition is a human right. DSM is proud to partner once again with UNICEF and Sight and Life to improve nutrition in Nigeria and across Africa, especially for vulnerable populations like women and children. It is an important step toward achieving a world without hunger and a world in which people everywhere can reach their full potential,” says Feike Sijbesma, CEO and Chairman of the DSM Managing Board.
“Every child has a right to grow up healthy and strong, and this new partnership with Royal DSM and Sight and Life will help more children in Nigeria to realize that right,” UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake says.
The partners will aim to develop scalable models and drive innovation to improve the quality of food and nutrition in Nigeria, with the goal of spurring similar action in other countries where malnutrition is a critical concern. The partners will also advocate on a global scale for best practices in micronutrient supplementation.
“With our expertise in implementation research and social and behavior change communication, we will effectively contribute to nutrition programs at scale in Nigeria,” says Klaus Kraemer, Managing Director of Sight and Life.