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File photo: Lusa
The European Union has disbursed EUR 3.7 million supporting a project to fortify basic foods in the fight against malnutrition, a statement released yesterday reveals.
“Food fortification is recognised as a very effective way of responding to the lack of micronutrients, a major factor in malnutrition in Mozambique,” said Isabel Faria, head of EU Cooperation in Mozambique, quoted in a statement from the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP).
The five-year project spans 45 industries throughout Mozambique and was implemented by the WFP, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations and the International Fund for Agricultural Development.
“A key point of the approach was the involvement of the private sector and industry, which was instrumental in expanding these products at the national level,” Faria added.
The Minister of Industry and Commerce, Ragendra de Sousa, says that chronic malnutrition is a public health problem in the country, and that the Mozambican government is prioritising the fight against it.
“We must continue to raise awareness among the population about the importance of consuming fortified foods and priority has been given to the implementation of interventions that enable fortification in rural areas, where the majority of the Mozambican population is located,” he said.
The Food Fortification Program in Mozambique, which ends this year, is in line with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), whose priority, among other goals, is to reduce hunger in the country.
Data from FAO show that Mozambique annually loses about EUR 1,300 million, or 10.9% of gross domestic product, through chronic malnutrition, which affects 43% of children under the age of five in the country.Source: Lusa
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