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|Founder||International Development Research Centre|
|$53,224,724 (2014) [USD]|
|45 head office, 150 worldwide|
|Slogan||Solutions for hidden hunger|
The Micronutrient Initiative (MI) is an international not for profit agency based in Canada that works to eliminate vitamin and mineral deficiencies in developing countries. Although often only required by the body in very small amounts, vitamin and minerals – also known as micronutrients – support an array of critical biological functions including growth, immune function and eye function, as well as foetal development of the brain, the nervous system, and the skeletal system. Micronutrient deficiency is a form of malnutrition and is a recognized health problem in many developing countries. Globally, more than two billion people live with vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
In 1990, leaders attending the World Summit for Children set the goal of virtually eliminating micronutrient deficiencies. In 1992, Micronutrient Initiative was established as a secretariat within the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), based in Ottawa, Canada, to support progress toward that goal. In 1993 IDRC recruited an executive director for the secretariat and transferred 2–3 of its staff to the new organization. Venkatesh Mannar took over in June 1994 as the executive director. Until 2000, MI was governed by a steering committee composed of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the International Development Research Centre, UNICEF, The World Bank, and USAID. In 2000, MI became an independent not-for-profit organization.Joel Spicer became President in February 2014.
The organization advocates for, and provides funding and technical assistance for salt iodisation, the distribution of multi-micronutrient powders, the fortification of staple foods such as wheat flour with vitamin A, iron and folic acid, and dietary supplementation with vitamin A, iron, zinc and folic acid. Since 1997, with funding support from the Government of Canada, the Micronutrient Initiative has provided more than eight billion doses of vitamin A for use by UNICEF and national governments.
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