The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), a Swiss foundation launched by the United Nations, which has been working to reduce human suffering caused by malnutrition since 2002, will sign a memorandum of understanding with Benin's Ministry of Agriculture on Thursday 14 September 2023 to implement its activities. GAIN is thus inaugurating its official presence in the country.
Funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, this new three-year programme (2023-2026) offers a real opportunity to continue improving the diet of Benin's population. Despite all the efforts made over the past 20 years, the country is still lagging behind in terms of stunting (32%) and wasting, which has only fallen by 3% during this period (6%). With a ranking of 166th out of 191 countries in the Human Development Index 2021, Benin's development potential is still too unexploited to date.
Gaston Cossi Dossouhoui, Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, comments on the situation in Benin: "Although the progress made in our agriculture is remarkable, we can't be satisfied with it as long as malnutrition persists, and new production technologies are needed. Let's keep up the momentum so that no one is left behind! This is part of the mandate that GAIN has been given for the next three years with their various programmes."
Let's keep up the momentum so that no one is left behind! This is part of the mandate that GAIN has been given for the next three years with their various programmes.
According to Saul Morris, Director of Programmes at GAIN: "Our presence in Benin aims to transform food systems so that they provide more nutritious food for all citizens, particularly the most vulnerable. In Africa, we have already been involved in many transformations of food systems and are confident that our objectives in Benin will be achieved. Our alliance with key development partners such as the government, the civil society and local businesses is vital to building stronger, healthier food systems for a more equal society."
Our presence in Benin aims to transform food systems so that they provide more nutritious food for all citizens, particularly the most vulnerable.
GAIN's work in Benin focuses on three areas in particular:
1. Food fortification in school canteens, in collaboration with the World Food Programme (WFP):
GAIN's ambition is to ensure that WFP can source fortified products such as edible oil, salt, maize flour and wheat flour locally, in accordance with the regulations in force in the country. The aim is to support local companies to produce the right quality and quantity of fortified food.
2. Creating demand for nutritious food:
GAIN's ambition is to increase the availability and accessibility of nutritious food, particularly locally produced vegetables, so that the people of Benin can enjoy a more varied diet. This work will accompany other efforts to strengthen food production and agri-food chains, while ensuring high-quality, nutritious food reaches markets and finds willing buyers.
3. Reducing malnutrition:
GAIN's ambition is to bring together private sector companies, the Benin government and other key stakeholders to take joint action and accelerate their contributions to improving nutrition. In partnership with CARE Benin, GAIN will implement the SUN Business Network (SBN), a network of companies involved in agri-food in the country. The aim is to strengthen their capacity for advocacy with a view to influencing government policies, such as making nutritious food available at affordable prices.
"We began our operations in Benin by focusing on increasing the impact of existing programmes. This strategy includes creating demand for nutritious food, supporting the provision of fortified food – which includes the country's school canteens programme – and strengthening small and medium-sized enterprises in food supply chains through the work of the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) business network," added Francoise Sayi, GAIN Country Director. She continued: "We are proud to embark on this tripartite programme to support the Benin government and other stakeholders in improving the consumption of nutritious and healthy food in the country."
The opening of the Benin office brings to 8 the number of national offices for the foundation on the African continent, and 12 around the world.
We are proud to embark on this tripartite programme to support the Benin government and other stakeholders in improving the consumption of nutritious and healthy food in the country.
GAIN is delighted to invite interested journalists to the opening of its office and the launch of its programme on Friday 15 September 2023 at the Golden Tulip Hotel in Cotonou.
For more information or to confirm your attendance, please email email@example.com or call +229 97 44 74 44.