x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

15 million Afghans to gain from UAE-backed project

The initiative, which has the support of the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation, was launched in September last year.

A UAE-backed project to tackle severe malnutrition among children and pregnant women in Afghanistan is making good progress.

The initiative, which has the support of the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation, was launched in September last year.

Fifteen million people, approximately half of Afghanistan's population, will be helped by the project, said foundation chairman and Deputy Prime Minister, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, in a report issued by the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (Gain).

Marc van Ameringen, executive director of Gain, said the foundation's efficient and strategic participation and support was the main reason for its success.

"Since the project was launched, several nutrition initiatives have been implemented and three agreements have been signed with local Afghan stakeholders, including an international development partner," said Mr Van Ameringen.

At this stage the flagship project is aimed at providing four staples on a large scale - wheat flour, oils, vegetable ghee, and salt, said the state news agency Wam.

The project's goals are to reduce vitamin-A deficiency by 30 per cent in children under five and by 20 per cent in women of reproductive age, to cut iron-deficiency anaemia in pre-school children and women of reproductive age and to fight moderate malnutrition among children from six months to five years.

ecleland@thenational.ae