European Union ambassador to The Gambia has acknowledged that food
fortification increases the nutritional quality of existing diets and consumption
Attila Lajos was speaking recently during the launch of the project: ‘‘Improving Food Security and Nutrition in The Gambia through Food Fortification’’ being implemented by FAO and partners that is worth 5.5million Euros. This project supports the establishment of the National Alliance for Food Fortification (NAFF).
He revealed that following award of grants, the EU’s Food Fortification Advisory Services came to The Gambia on mission in May 2017 and produced a Gambia country profile on Food Fortification in June as well as SWOT report on Food Fortification in the country.
This report, according to him, recognized that the private sector and key national players are all operational and supportive of full participation in the process of developing food fortification further.
“There are areas of potential improvement including a need for a better mandatory legislation and national standards for fortification of food products. Domestic laboratory capacity to reliably assess nutrient content of fortified foods and nutritional status of the population also needs to be upgraded as well as the capacity to monitor the impact of iodized salt” he added.
In this context, he went on, the EU took a supplementary financial decision two months ago to allocate an additional D30M to FAO to help among others, in the process of making the NAFF.
The EU diplomat noted that EU funding support represents a huge opportunity to expand and improve food fortification in The Gambia, adding that the existence of willing partners agencies to implement the project such as the ones being implemented by FAO should be seen as an opportunity.
“EU now wishes to encourage the government stakeholders involved to scale up commitment to the food fortification process. This includes greater commitment in the field and at a national level”