CAIRO: A new $3 million contribution from the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (Gain) aims to eradicate anaemia, a haemoglobin deficiency that causes weakness and fatigue, which is widespread throughout the poorer sectors of the Egyptian population.
Gain, created at a special UN session for children in 2002, has handed over the money to the World Food Program (WFP) who will work with the Egyptian government on the fortification of wheat flour – used to make the popular baladi bread – with folic acid and iron, two essential nutrients for reducing anemia.
Health agencies estimate that anemia afflicts around 60 percent of the population in the most impoverished parts of the country, damaging maternal and infant health.
Gain’s contribution will enable WFP to purchase fortification equipment and nutrients for the first phase of the program, and to help raise public awareness about proper nutrition and the health benefits of consuming fortified bread.
The government has allocated $20 million to the five-year project.
WFP has a long history of providing food assistance to food-insecure communities in Egypt and improving their nutritional status continues to be one of our key objectives, WFP Country Director Bishow Parajuli said.