Government of Sudan, partners reaffirm commitment to salt iodization
The Government of Sudan and development partners including the World Food Programme (WFP) officially extended until 2021 an agreement that supports the development of a national law making salt iodization mandatory.
The fourteen-party Universal Salt Iodization Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) includes a number of ministries.
Currently, only 15 percent of households across Sudan consume iodized salt, an essential mineral which is vital for optimal growth and development. Without regular consumption, longer term impacts can lead to iodine deficiency disorders, increased risk of miscarriage, goitre, memory loss and learning difficulties.
“WFP integrates iodized salt through its food assistance programme. We purchase iodized salt locally and it is a key component of our monthly food assistance baskets,” said WFP Sudan Representative and Country Director Hameed Nuru. “Last year, WFP purchased locally iodized salt worth US$490,000 and we endeavour to continue supporting the project to help mitigate health risks.”
Opportunities for Sudan include its capacity to produce salt locally - with the Red Sea State able to produce 95 percent of the country’s needs.
Last year, three additional factories opened with a capacity to produce 40 percent of iodized salt needed in the country– if enforced through legislation. WFP is supporting refineries to access potassium iodate, required to iodize salt. Additionally, WFP provides quality control and assurance training, technical support and equipment.
WFP and partners have been supporting the Government of Sudan to enact legislation that bans the sale of non-iodized salt. While successfully encouraging 11 out of 18 states to adopt the legislation, implementation and enforcement remains a challenge.
The food fortification project that includes iodization of salt is funded by the European Union’s General Directorate for International Cooperation and Development through a generous multi-year contribution focusing on nutrition-based programmes across the country.