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A united front against malnutrition: WFP and CIP renew partnership for nutritional innovation

In a landmark move to combat hunger and malnutrition, the World Food Programme (WFP) and the International Potato Center (CIP) have solidified their partnership with a new four-year memorandum of understanding (MOU).

This next phase of collaboration signifies a strategic shift towards research and innovation, aiming to harness the nutrition benefits of biofortified and other nutritious crops. These efforts will be channeled through market alliances, school feeding, and social protection programs, with a focus on Kenya and its neighboring countries.

Tackling Vitamin A Deficiency

The partnership has previously made significant strides in addressing Vitamin A deficiency through the distribution of Orange Fleshed Sweet Potato (OFSP). Recognized as a key crop for school feeding and social protection programs, OFSP has shown immense potential in addressing malnutrition. The new agreement plans to expand this impact to include other biofortified and nutritious crops and foods.

Expanding Reach through Strategic Alliances and School Feeding Initiatives

A central goal of the collaboration is to serve nutritious school meals to 10 million children countrywide in Kenya. This initiative is part of a broader commitment to work with government and school feeding alliances. Further strengthening this mission, the WFP Farm-to-Market Alliance (FtMA), which already supports 80,000 potato farmers, has joined as a strategic partner. The collaboration targets arid and semi-arid regions in Kenya, where agriculture and food security face unique challenges.

Focus on Preventive Nutrition Programming

The MOU emphasizes the importance of preventive nutrition programming, especially in improving diets for infants and young children. OFSP puree has been effective as a weaning and infant food, particularly when coupled with complementary nutrition education. WFP and CIP are committed to exploring new channels to deliver this product in resource-poor urban communities, where young child diets are often inadequate.

Research: The Foundation for Sustainable Solutions

At the core of this partnership is a commitment to rigorous research on delivery models. In collaboration with CGIAR Centers and other research partners, the focus will be on optimizing interventions for maximum impact. This approach aims to shift from immediate relief to sustainable solutions that empower communities and reduce dependence on food aid.

The MOU between WFP and CIP marks a significant milestone in the partnership between agrifood research and delivery programming. By supporting school feeding initiatives, harnessing the potential of nutritious crops, and fostering strategic alliances, this collaboration sets a powerful precedent for international cooperation in addressing food insecurity.

Source: International Potato Center (CIP). Read the original release here
Photo: Simon Heck (CIP DG) and Lauren Landis (WFP Country Director Kenya)

Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse

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