Kerry puts US$750,000 toward improving Burundi milk access in World Food Program collab
12 Mar 2021 --- Kerry Group has launched Project Amata, a new project with the UN’s World Food Program (WFP), which aims to enhance the production and availability of safe, sustainable milk for children and communities in the Gitega province of Burundi. Kerry will support the project by a direct financial contribution of US$750,000.
Kerry experts and WFP staff will work together with farmers and the local community throughout the three-year program to build milk production capacity. Kerry will also provide equipment and training, covering key areas of livestock management and milk production.
“Food security and access to good nutrition has become more difficult for more people because of the pandemic,” Catherine Keogh, vice president corporate affairs at Kerry Group, tells FoodIngredientsFirst.
According to the WFP’s State of School Feeding Worldwide report, 370 million children do not have access to nutritious meals due to schools being shut in 200 countries since April 2020 to halt the spread of COVID-19.
Targeting food security
Project Amata builds on the success of the previous WFP and Kerry partnership, Project Leche, which helped Honduran farmers create a safer and more sustainable milk supply. It also improved the health of over 7,500 thousand Honduran children and economic opportunities as well as better living conditions for the community.
“Kerry’s expertise in dairy, agricultural, quality, processing and nutrition combined with learning from our previous WFP partnership in Honduras will be of immense value as we work with WFP to make safe and sustainable milk more accessible to Burundian school children and the community,” Keogh details.
One of the aims of Kerry’s community program is to positively engage with people and communities to help “shape a better world.”
“Experience has shown us that we can have a greater impact when we work with others to achieve this goal,” she continues.
“In addition to our partnership with WFP in Burundi and Honduras, we are partnering with Concern Worldwide through the RAIN Program, a multi-disciplinary approach to tackling hunger and malnutrition in Niger,” Keogh elaborates.
The RAIN Program’s core objective is to increase food production and encourage a more diverse, nutrient rich diet.
Providing access to milk
Milk is one of the few sources of animal protein available to children in Burundi. Still, on average, children receive just two cups per month – the lowest frequency of milk consumption in east Africa.
The project centers around improving food security and nutrition by strengthening the milk value chain and engaging schools and local communities to raise awareness about the vital role milk has in curbing malnutrition.
“This is an example of how Kerry, WFP and local agencies can work together toward achieving Sustainable Development Goal 2: Zero Hunger,” says Edmond Scanlon, chief executive of Kerry Group.
“It also provides a further concrete example of our ‘Better for Society’ social impact program in action, helping to improve the health and nutrition of people in need.”
Malnutrition in Burundi
In Burundi, 65 percent of people live below the poverty line, and chronic malnutrition affects over half the population.
Children are often the most affected, as the lack of regular nutritious food and poor dietary diversity makes them vulnerable to infections and seriously undermines their performance at school.
For the 11 million people in Burundi, these challenges add up, affecting personal development and the country’s economic and social development.
Overall, COVID-19 has tipped the world “off-track” to achieve Zero Hunger by 2030.
In January, NutritionInsight reported that the Asia-Pacific region specifically is not on track to achieve the UN’s 2030 targets of ending hunger.
Meanwhile, in December, global governments and health advocates committed over US$3 billion to address the unrelenting worldwide hunger and nutrition crisis.
Malnutrition research from this July revealed the US$850 billion cost of malnutrition for businesses.
Last month, FAO senior economist David Dawe told NutritionInsight that COVID-19 has exacerbated global malnutrition. Aside from being part of corporate social responsibility, combating malnutrition is piquing consumer and government interest, and it is in the private sector’s benefit to satisfy these demands.
By Elizabeth Green
This feature is provided by FoodIngredientsFirst’s sister website, NutritionInsight.
To contact our editorial team please email us at email@example.com
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