Study 1: Emergency Relief in Haiti: A distribution study within the ACF canteen program
Food aid is the provision of food commodities as a form of international assistance. It is a form of aid,
which can directly address poverty and hunger issues in developing countries. Commonly speaking, objectives of food aid
are to reduce starvation and acute malnutrition problems in communities affected by emergencies and to contribute to the
food security of a population or country. According to the 1996 World Food Summit held in Rome, the concept of food security encompasses a wide range of issues
affecting both quantity and quality of diet meeting an individual’s demands for protein, calorie and all sorts of necessary
micronutrients. A comprehensive and effective food aid plan should consider all these nutritional details.
The population groups mostly affected by any emergency situation namely war and natural disasters include women and children.
While general fortification programs can potentially address the need of adults including women and men, this approach is not
sufficient for the younger groups such as infants and young children. In general food fortification programs, the level of
fortification for each nutrient is assessed or fixed based on the amount to be consumed by both healthy and unhealthy adults.
Logically this level of fortification is inadequate to address the higher micronutrients requirement of infants and young
children who logically eat less and also have limited choice for foods to be consumed. Therefore, the targeted fortification
of weaning foods with necessary micronutrients is justified that would potentially meet the micronutrient requirements of infants
and young children. Sprinkles are a home fortification strategy that may be of use in food aid situations to target those that are
the most vulnerable to micronutrient deficiencies.
As part of an Action Contre La Faim (ACF) program in Haiti, Sprinkles are currently being distributed in canteens
throughout the most vulnerable areas of Haiti for a one month period. Our partners at ACF will be determining the
acceptability of the Sprinkles through questionnaires delivered to caregivers. If acceptable, Sprinkles may provide a useful
strategy for providing micronutrients to women and children in relief situations around the world.
Study 2: IFPRI-World Vision Haiti-Cornell University program
IFPRI, Cornell University and World Vision Haiti in collaboration with the Hospital for Sick Children and funded by the
Micronutrient Initiative will be conducting a study in late 2004 to test the operational feasibility of using micronutrient
Sprinkles containing 12.5 mg of iron to supplement the diet of infants and young children between 6 and 23 months of age who
are beneficiaries of a title II food assistance MCHN program in Haiti. The proposed study will also include an assessment of
the effectiveness of the intervention on reducing the prevalence of anemia among children between 6 and 23 months of age.
A two-month supply of the micronutrient Sprinkles will be provided to the caregivers of these children and they will also receive
information on the use of the sprinkles through Mothers’ Clubs that are part of the overall program package. The outcome measure
for the effectiveness of the Sprinkles will be hemoglobin in capillary blood, and this will be assessed at baseline and two months
after the beneficiaries have received the sprinkles. In order to evaluate the long term benefit of the Sprinkles, a six month
hemoglobin assessment will be conducted among those children who are found to be non-anemic at the two month assessment. The
Sprinkles for this study are provided by the Hospital for Sick Children, Canada.