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WHO To Offer New Guidelines For Food Aid, Recommends 'Tighter Nutritional Standards'

The WHO said Thursday that “it plans to recommend tighter nutritional standards in food aid for young children, a move activists say is necessary to improve donations from countries such as the United States,” the Associated Press/Washington Post reports. “The new guidelines are likely to make food aid more expensive in the short term, but the improved formulas will be more effective at reducing moderate malnutrition in children under the age of five,” the news service writes (10/13).

“Despite some recent gains in the fight against childhood malnutrition, the global food aid system largely continues to provide substandard foods to millions of malnourished children every year,” Medecins Sans Frontieres writes, adding, “The bulk of international food aid shipments … are comprised of corn-soy blend (CSB) fortified flours, which do not include the vital nutrients and proteins growing children require” (10/13). According to AP, “WHO’s new guidelines are the first time a high-level body has confirmed that the aid delivered to many of the world’s hungry lacked necessary nutrients” (10/13).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.