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New Public-Private Partnership between United States and Japan to Improve Child Nutrition in Ghana

On May 30, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and Ajinomoto Co., Inc. signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Accra, Ghana, officially forming a public-private partnership that will leverage the combined expertise of the three organizations to improve nutrition in Ghana.

The partnership marks the first time that the U.S. Government and the Government of Japan will work together with the private sector to improve the nutritional status of children. It is also the first time a Japanese company will work collaboratively with USAID as part of a Global Development Alliance.

The agreement between USAID, JICA, and Ajinomoto has three core components:

  • Ajinomoto will work with a local food company and the University of Ghana to develop and evaluate a new soybean-based, fortified nutritional supplement that can be added to koko, a traditional porridge of fermented corn that is frequently eaten by children in Ghana. 
  • In support of this effort, USAID will provide funding and technical expertise to develop and evaluate the most appropriate way to ensure poor families use and benefit from the new supplement.
  • JICA will assist in building a business model for Ajinomoto’s provision of nutritional supplements in Ghana.

This partnership is closely aligned with the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) movement, a global effort to improve nutritional status among children under 2 and pregnant women. Ghana was one of the first countries to sign on to the SUN movement.

Read the full press release from the U.S. Embassy in Ghana.

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