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Food fortification increases the nutritional quality of existing diets and consumption patterns. It’s comparative advantage is that it is delivered through the food system. Furthermore, bio-fortification through improved crop quality and large-scale food fortification programmes makes a huge contribution towards improving food quality.
The FAO project entitled ”Improving Food Security and Nutrition in the Gambia through Food Fortification” is co-funded by the EU and FAO on an 80/20% pro-rata basis. The project is of four years duration and the initial grant awarded was around 275 Million Dalasi. It started in March 2017 and will end in February 2021.
The project is working principally in West Coast Region, North Bank and Central River Region. It’s intended results are to improve the national food fortification regulatory framework, to strengthen public and private sector capacities to support food fortification and to increase awareness about and access to fortified flour and rice; as well as better production of bio fortified crops and improved dietary diversity including consumption of fish powder, particularly for women, girls and children.
The project is therefore intended to contribute to better national food fortification management and improved health and nutrition indicators, especially the reduction of stunting and wasting and normal cognitive development in children and reduced anaemia among women, as well as reduction in complications during pregnancy and maternal mortality.