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According to recent FAO estimates, nearly 690 million people in the World are hungry (FAO, IFAD, and WFP, 2020)1. Globally, the burden of malnutrition in all its forms remains a challenge: 144 million of children under 5 years of age were stunted, 47 million wasted and 38.3 million overweight.
One form of malnutrition is expressed in micronutrient deficiencies. Micronutrient deficiencies afflict more than two billion individuals, or one in three people globally, causing weakened immune systems and avoidable health outcomes, including blindness, delayed growth and cognitive and physical development. Humans require various nutrients (vitamins and minerals) in adequate amounts to live healthy and pro-ductive lives. Of these nutrients, four are in chronically short supply among economically disadvantaged communities: iron, zinc, iodine and vitamin A. Shortage of these micronutrients can have significant consequences on human health and development, causing a wide range of physiological impairments, leading to reduced resistance to infections, metabolic disorders, and delayed or impaired physical and psychomotor development.
Because of societal and health implications of micronutrients deficiencies, there is a heightened inte-rest within development institutions, governments, NGOs, and scientific community about the need to seek for solutions to addressing micronutrients deficiencies. Different approaches are being put forward to tackle micronutrient deficiencies. These include diet diversification, biofortification, food fortification and supplementation.
Action Against Hunger (A AH) has developed operational guidelines on food fortification2. The present paper is about AAH operational guidelines on biofortification. These operational guidelines complement the existing AAH Position Paper on GMO Seeds and Foods, according to which AAH strongly exclude the provision and distribution of GMOs seeds in its operational programs.
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