The Micronutrient Initiative (MI) is the leading organization working exclusively to eliminate vitamin and mineral deficiencies in the world´s most vulnerable populations.
The Micronutrient Initiative supplies more than 75 per cent of the world´s need for vitamin A and supports governments in their work to achieve universal coverage of vitamin A supplementation in children aged six months to five years. Bottles of vitamin A supplements, bearing the Canadian flag, are in countless health posts around the world.
In an examination of economic solutions to ten of the world´s biggest challenges, the 2008 Copenhagen Consensus concluded that combating malnutrition in undernourished children, specifically providing vitamin A and zinc, provides the most beneficial return on investment. Every dollar spent creates benefits worth $17.
Since 1997, MI has provided more than 75% of the vitamin A required for supplementation programs in developing countries more than 8 billion capsules and oral doses of vitamin A.
Zinc has also been proven to strengthen the immune system to enable young children to survive infections and MI is working with governments to improve national diarrhoea treatment guidelines and has significantly increased its programming in recent years to provide additional zinc to children most in need.
MI is leading efforts to reach the last 30% of households still not using iodized salt by working with small, local salt processors in providing simple and easy iodization techniques.
MI offers its knowledge and technology to the food industry to add nutrients, such as iron and folic acid, to food cost-effectively without affecting its quality or taste, helping to improve the quality of life for women and their families.
MI focuses on strengthening and integrating delivery platforms for micronutrients and other health interventions; advising governments on how to use their own resources to finance the marginal costs related to adding micronutrient supplementation, including vitamin A, iron and folic acid to existing health services and programs.
The Micronutrient Initiative is:
- A team of experts with solid field experience
- Cost-effective, using innovative solutions with large scale impact and keeping administrative costs low
- Customized and innovative, approaching each project with a fresh perspective
- Local with staff on the ground who understand local needs and solutions
- Sustainable, empowering communities so that solutions become a permanent way of life
- Results-oriented, targeting regions where the greatest impact can be made
- Open and transparent, with good governance as a guiding principle