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The Vitamin A for Africa Partnership: Paving the Way for Food-based Solutions to Undernutrition

On May 9, 2001, an international group of 70 agriculturists, health experts, and nutritionists launched what is believed to be the first food-based initiative to attack vitamin A deficiency in Sub-Saharan Africa. The initiative—known as Vitamin A for Africa or VITAA—provides a comprehensive research and development framework for 44 partner agencies working in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda.1

VITAA is the first initiative of its kind to bring together nutritionists, health experts, and agricultural scientists in pursuit of a common goal. Through their collective efforts, VITAA has succeeded in creating a working consortium that involves research and development agencies, community-based organizations, and nongovernmental organizations in seven African countries. Based on this solid, cross-cutting partnership experience and the impact it has already generated, VITAA provides the CGIAR Biofortification Challenge Program with a concrete model of the effectiveness of food-based approaches in tackling micronutrient malnutrition.