By Isatou Jawara
The vice president has said that the Government is making efforts to invest in all areas including water and sanitation as well as providing appropriate labour saving devices to reduce the drudgery and workload of women.
Fatoumatta Jallow-Tambajang mentioned this at the launching of 4.4 Million Euro Food Fortification Project funded by the European Union on improving food security and nutrition in the Gambia through food fortifications coordinated by National Nutrition Agency, FAO and other stakeholders.
The main objective of the project is to improve micro nutrient intake and health outcomes of vulnerable women and children in The Gambia especially in the North Bank Region and CRR north.
“The Government is committed and will continue to be committed to ensuring food and nutrition security for the Gambian population, being aware of the fact that food security does not directly translate into improved nutritional status through a pre requisite.
“Nutrition is not a single sectoral issue, but rather a crosscutting one, has led the Government of The Gambia to recognise nutrition as an important pillar of national development. The National Nutrition Agency under my office is charged with the responsibility for better coordinating nutrition and nutrition related programmes across sectors in the country,” she said.
She added: “The project will integrate nutrition education as a key strategy to strengthen nutrition outcomes and will strengthen public and private sector capacities, improve public private partnership and advance the reinforcement of regulatory systems on food fortification in The Gambia.
“The intervention will ensure at least 65% of the Gambian population has increased awareness and access to fortified staple foods high Oc
al micro nutrients such as Vitamin A, iron, zinc folic acid and other Vitamin B nutrients. This will be done through the fortification of flour with Iron and folic acid and Vegetable Oil with Vitamin A.”
Also speaking at the occasion, the FAO rep Dr Perpetual Katepa Kalala, said: “The Food Fortification project aims at improving the food and nutrition security of vulnerable women and children in the Gambia with specific objective focusing on ensuring access to and consumption of micro nutrient rich foods, industrially fortified as well as bio fortified with cohesive strategies for promoting better nutrition outcomes.”