The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the Government of Bolivar launched the Sprinkles of Life project. Copyright: WFP/Mónica Ramirez
CARTAGENA -On July 14th, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the Government of Bolivar launched the Sprinkles for Life project, which consists of implementing a home fortification strategy which uses micronutrients powders to serve 71,000 children from the ages of 2 to 5 in 45 different municipalities in the Department of Bolivar, over 11 months.
During the launching event Riaz Lodhi, WFP Deputy Country Director, addressed the importance of investing in the food and nutrition security of children. "Malnutrition is not only a health or dietary problem, it is also an economic problem. To reduce it, is to invest in the future by contributing to the economy and increasing productivity," expressed Lodhi. The WFP Director made an emphasis on the additional components linked to the project such as family and community trainings, deworming treatments for children, institutional strengthening, as well as health, food, and nutrition education in all of the municipalities in Bolívar.
In turn, Juan Carlos Gossaín, the Governor of the Department of Bolívar, highlighted that in addition to the experience, knowledge, and technical assistance, WFP supports in reducing the costs of the micronutrients which allows the project to cover all of the children in Bolivar. The Governor emphasized that the Sprinkles of Life project will be battling malnutrition and anemia in the region. "Each of our activities and especially this project, must comply with discipline, leadership, and heart". The Governor reaffirmed its commitment to this initiative for it to become an example for other departments of Colombia.
WFP has had successful experiences in Latin America, especially in Bolivia, Peru, Guatemala, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Ecuador and other countries by working hand in hand with governments to reduce levels of anemia in early childhood.
In Colombia, WFP has led the adoption of the strategy of home fortification in departments such as Atlántico, La Guajira, Córdoba, Guaviare, Chocó, Cesar, Cauca, and Nariño. However, the project implemented in Bolivar will have the largest coverage in the country so far.