Lucky Iron Fish receives $250k in funding to help address iron deficiency anemia in Benin.
Fund for Innovation and Transformation (FIT), a program designed to support Canadian small and medium-sized organizations (SMOs), has chosen Lucky Iron Fish as one of the SMOs to be funded for testing innovative solutions that advance gender equality. The $250k funding will help improve nutritional outcomes for women and children in Benin.
Toronto, June 30, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Lucky Iron Fish Enterprise (LIFe) is an impact-driven company that is on a mission to tackle iron deficiency globally using their innovative solutions designed to make iron intake more accessible to more people. In addition to selling directly to consumers, LIFe also partners with institutions, charitable organizations, and even community-based programs to work directly with undernourished families around the world.
For this project, LIFe will be working with their long-term partners at CARE Benin. With the help of the $250,000 funding, they will provide nutrition workshops and introduce the Lucky Iron Fish as a recommended addition to daily cooking in order to reduce prevalence of iron deficiency anemia. Since training can no longer be conducted in large group settings or by frontline workers at household level because of COVID-19, LIFe will be testing new digital tools and other innovations like “talking books” to provide information and influence behaviours to improve community health. This project aims to reduce women’s vulnerabilities due to the pandemic and also increase women’s decision-making roles in improving household nutrition.
Iron deficiency is a global health issue that impacts 1 out of 3 individuals (2+ billion worldwide), with women, girls, and children impacted at a disproportionately higher rate. It is a prevalent form of undernutrition that is directly linked to stunted cognitive development in children under 5; and in adults, it reduces work productivity, cognitive function, and can lead to poor pregnancy outcomes.
In fact, according to the World Bank, the economic costs of undernutrition, in terms of lost national productivity and lost economic growth, is 2%-3% of GDP in some countries and is as high as 11% of GDP in Africa and Asia each year.
In Benin alone, 62% of children under 5 and 47% of females of reproductive age suffer from iron deficiency anemia. Benin also ranks 26th in the world for its high maternal mortality which is commonly caused due to lack of access to health services and nutrition, among other things.
Addressing iron deficiency in undernourished communities goes hand in hand with addressing many of the sustainable development goals like gender equality, zero hunger, good health & well-being, reduced inequalities, and decent work & economic growth.