Heerlen, NL, 24 Jan 2013 09:15 CET
Royal DSM, the global Life Sciences and Materials Sciences company, and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), the world’s largest humanitarian organization fighting hunger around the world, today signed an Agreement extending their existing partnership for three years (to 2015) to combat hidden hunger and malnutrition in the developing world. DSM and WFP will seek to double the number of people who benefit from their work together, from the current annual reach of 15 million to 25-30 million per year by 2015. DSM’s public-private partnership with WFP, in place since 2007, has contributed to improving the diets of people, using essential vitamins, nutrients and fortified rice, in countries that include Nepal, Kenya, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. The strengthened partnership will focus on pregnant and nursing women, young children and vulnerable households.
Feike Sijbesma, CEO and Chairman of the DSM Managing Board, said: “DSM’s mission is to provide brighter lives for people today and generations to come. Our partnership with the UN WFP is about improving nutrition and fighting micronutrient deficiencies. As the world’s largest producer of vitamins and other micronutrients we have a clear responsibility to help solve the globe’s most solvable problem: hidden hunger. DSM is immensely proud of our partnership with WFP and intensifying this successful relationship has yielded the ambitious plan of more than doubling the number of beneficiaries over the next three years.”
Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director, UN World Food Programme, stated:“Investing in nutrition solutions for the world’s most vulnerable people is an essential element of the fight against global hunger. With DSM’s continued support, WFP is committed to providing the right food at the right time, especially for children in the first 1,000 days of life. When building the potential of future generations, there is no substitute for good nutrition.”
As one of WFP’s Global Humanitarian Partners, DSM combines technical and scientific expertise with high-nutrient products and financial assistance to help improve the nutritional value of the food WFP distributes to those in need. DSM supports WFP operations around the world through the addition of critical vitamins, minerals and other micronutrients to WFP’s food basket.
Through the partnership with WFP, DSM has used its unique scientific expertise in health and nutrition to develop micronutrient innovations that meet the specific nutrition needs of the people WFP supports, including ready-to-use sachets of vitamins and minerals that can be added to food (MixMe™), as well as fortified rice (Nutririce®). DSM has also helped WFP improve the formula of its fortified blended foods.
DSM and WFP will continue to trial and test new products and programs that tackle hidden hunger and malnutrition. DSM will also continue assisting WFP in implementing its nutrition strategy at national, regional and global levels, providing on-going technical and scientific support and supplying food supplements and food fortification products.. To enhance this vital partnership, DSM and WFP will reach out to engage governments and stakeholders and will encourage fundraising activities by DSM’s 22,000 employees, based on the company’s core belief that business cannot succeed in a society that fails.
An estimated 2 billion people globally suffer from the effects of micronutrient deficiencies, in that they don’t receive the necessary levels of vitamins and minerals that allow them to develop to their full mental and physical potential. This hidden hunger has a major impact on child development, educational attainment, economic productivity and can lead to chronic diseases and higher mortality.
Vitamin and mineral deficiencies account for an estimated 7% of the global disease burden, while iron, vitamin A and zinc deficiencies rank among the top 10 leading causes of death due to disease in developing countries. The mental development in 40% - 60% of infants in the developing world is impaired due to nutrition insecurity and micronutrient deficiency. Micronutrient supplementation and fortification have been ranked as the top development investments by the Copenhagen Consensus; indeed, malnutrition can lower a nation’s GDP by at least 2% - 3%.