THE Australian Government signed a Memorandum of Understanding yesterday with the national government, Delite Flour Mill, Solomon Rice Company Limited and other stakeholders on food fortification in the Solomon Islands.
Australia helped broker the innovative public-private partnership between nine stakeholders, which will see commonly eaten food in the Solomon Islands fortified with micronutrients such as iron, zinc and folate.
Speaking at the signing of the agreement, the Australian High Commission’s Minister Counsellor Sue Connell said Australia is pleased to be supporting this landmark agreement.
“Australia is pleased to be working with the Solomon Islands Government and other partners on this important health initiative. Through this partnership we hope to improve the nutrition of Solomon Islanders, particularly children and pregnant mothers.”
Solomon Islands suffers from high levels of malnutrition which is contributing to the increased child illness and mortality and reduced productivity across the population.
Food fortification involves the addition of micro nutrients to commonly consumed food to help improve their nutritional value.
The partnership is being led by the Ministry of Health and Medical Services and includes the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, Ministry of Finance and Treasury, Delite Flour Mill, Solomon Rice Company Limited, Food Fortification Initiative, United Nations Children’s Fund, the World Health Organization and Australia.
Australia provided funding of approximately AUD$300,000 to the Food Fortification Initiative for initial technical support to establish the partnership.