What We Do

 Photo: Muna Ibrahim/UNICEF
Photo: Muna Ibrahim/UNICEF

 

The global health burden of vitamin and mineral deficiencies is profound.

Over 2 billion people are affected by vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Vitamins and minerals used in fortification such as iron and folic acid prevent birth defects of the brain and spine as well as anemia caused by nutritional deficiencies.

The Food Fortification Initiative (FFI) is a public, private, and civic partnership that provides technical assistance to governments, regional bodies, food producers, and implementing agencies to promote, plan, implement, and monitor fortification of industrially milled wheat flour, maize flour, and rice. FFI is the only global group that focuses exclusively on these three commonly consumed grains as a means of addressing the global burden of vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

 

Why we work

Globally 84 countries have legislation to mandate fortification of at least one industrially milled cereal grain. Of these, 83 countries mandate fortification of wheat flour alone or in combination with other grains. A 2017 study found that 50,270 birth defects of the brain and spine were prevented in one year due to flour being fortified with folic acid—an average of 137 healthier babies every day.

Despite recent strides, however, billions of people do not receive enough vitamins and minerals to reach their full potential. More needs to be done.

 

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*Total is based on 2019 estimates from our staff and partners in countries where we are working, including current work in Africa and Asia.

 

How we work

FFI currently works in four broad regions: Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe and Central Asia, and South Asia to ensure high-risk countries seeking to implement national fortification programs are provided with the guidance and resources required to do so. We use a unique data-driven approach to support countries that demonstrate a high nutritional need and potential fortification.  By providing technical expertise, we help countries create a favorable environment for the sustainable implementation of a country-led fortification program. In 2019, our efforts reached nearly six million people with improved nutrition.* 

 

Africa

 

Asia-Pacific

 

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Europe and Central Asia  

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South Asia