FORTIFYING OUR FUTURE: COMING TOGETHER TO SUPPORT THE WORLD HEALTH ASSEMBLY RESOLUTION ON FOOD FORTIFICATION
Did you know that 1 in 2 preschool-aged children and 2 in 3 women of reproductive age worldwide have at least one micronutrient deficiency? Large scale food fortification is a key intervention that adds essential vitamins and minerals to widely consumed foods and condiments to help address micronutrient malnutrition.
IF has been a vocal proponent for large scale food fortification with folic acid for decades and as a part of that advocacy has been working with partners for the past year to bring a strong resolution on food fortification for reducing the prevalence of Spina Bifida and other Neural Tube Defects to the WHO. The approval of the WHO Executive Board is an immense milestone in achieving that goal.
This couldn’t have been possible without IF Members. IF Members play a vital role in the global advocacy of the SBH community. Advancement on the international level cannot be achieved without progress on the local and national level.
It is important to keep the momentum going and call on all WHO Member States to support the adoption of the draft resolution at the WHA in May.
A new resolution on food fortification at this year’s World Health Assembly (May 21 – 30 2023) has united the health policy, disability rights, and nutrition communities behind an effort to prevent micronutrient deficiencies and their consequences, including spina bifida and other neural tube birth defects. Continued attention and advocacy are needed to maximize the impact of this important initiative.
It is therefore with great pleasure that IF announces that the Executive Board of the WHO has voted to put the draft resolution “Accelerating efforts for preventing micronutrient deficiencies and their consequences, including spina bifida and other neural tube defects, through safe and effective food fortification” (Spanish here; French here) on the agenda of the seventy-sixth World Health Assembly.
The draft resolution was sponsored by Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, European Union and its 27 Member States, Israel, Malaysia and Paraguay.
More information about IF’s advocacy on the draft resolution as well as resources for you to use in your organisation’s activities in the campaign. These are:
- IF social media toolkit: on the draft resolution (including key messages for you to share and links to additional resources)
- IF press release: WHA draft resolution “Accelerating efforts for preventing micronutrient deficiencies and their consequences, including spina bifida and other neural tube defects, through safe and effective food fortification”
WEBINAR: Fortifying our Future
Coming together to support the World Health Assembly Resolution on Food Fortification
Join IF in the advocacy path for the draft WHA resolution by participating in the webinar ‘Fortifying our Future: Coming together to support the World Health Assembly Resolution on Food Fortification’. IF Secretary General Dr. Sylvia Roozen and IF member from Turkey Papatya Alkan Genca are speakers in the panel discussions on Food Fortification – the ‘unfinished agenda’ to support the WHA adoption of the draft resolution on safe and effective food fortification.
Fadoi Chouki, Nutrition Policy Officer, Directorate General of Intl Partnerships, EU Commission
Haymanot Asfaw, Manager, Mintu Investment Group; former GM, Ethiopian Millers Association
Inoshi Sharma, Executive Director (Regulatory Compliance Division), Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)
Dr. Kemel Ghotme, pediatric neurosurgeon, researcher & advocate, GAPSBiF
Luz Maria De-Regil, Head, Multisectoral Action in Food Systems Unit, WHO
Maria Juliana Tenorio Quintero, Representative, Government of Colombia
Dr. Ndeye Fatou Ndiaye, Coordinator of the Senegalese Committee for Food Fortification (COSFAM) and Country Working Group for Bouillon Fortification (CWG)
Papatya Alkan Genca, Board Member, Turkish Spina Bifida Association & IFSBH
Penjani Mkambula, Global Programme Lead for Food Fortification, GAIN
Saskia Osendarp, Executive Director, Micronutrient Forum
Sylvia Roozen, Secretary General, International Federation for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus
Whatch the live recording here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0MCyQ7CYSg
Join IF to raise awareness on the important topic of folic acid fortification and participate in this global momentum to promote and strengthen primary prevention of NDTs through food fortification.
- Contact your national government representatives asking them to support the resolution at the next World Health Assembly. If you would like to receive individualised support and materials to assist you in contacting national representatives please contact IF at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Share key social media messages with your network, see the Social Media Toolkit here
- Cross promotion on your communication channels
- Co-sign the letter in support of the draft resolution
Contact the IF Team if you have any questions or require support with your activities at email@example.com.