In a call for action endorsed by Food Fortification Initiative, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, Helen Keller International, Iodine Global Network, Nutrition International, the Scaling Up Nutrition Movement, UNICEF and the World Food Programme, this brief asserts that tackling vitamin and mineral deficiencies, through fortification and other interventions, strengthens community health and resilience to disease and should be prioritized as part of global and national responses to COVID-19.
The brief highlights national threats to fortification programmes, including:
- Increased air freight, shipping, and local transport costs
- Congested ports and export restrictions
- Monitoring and enforcement challenges
To tackle these challenges, the brief calls on governments, donors, the private sector, and civil society to jointly work together to ensure that the production, distribution, and consumption of fortified foods continues to support health and resilience to infection during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. Specific recommendations are set out for government, development partners and donors, international fortification premix suppliers, producers of fortified products and civil society.