OTTAWA, ON--(Marketwired - December 17, 2015) - The Micronutrient Initiative (MI), with support from the Government of Canada, launched this week a ground-breaking initiative to scale up nutrition, strengthen local health systems, and support income generation in some of Senegal's most vulnerable communities.

The project, PINKK (Projet intégré de nutrition dans les régions de Kolda et de Kédougou or "integrated nutrition project in the regions of Kolda and Kedougou"), is a five-year, $20-million initiative that will improve the nutrition and health of women and young children in Kolda and Kedougou, two regions severely burdened by malnutrition. This investment represents a significant commitment to the well-being of the populations in these regions.

As project manager, MI will lead and coordinate the initiative, in partnership with Développement international Desjardins (DID), World Vision Senegal and World Vision Canada, and the Government of Senegal's Cellule de Lutte contre la Malnutrition (CLM).

PINKK takes an innovative and integrated approach that links the promotion of improved health and nutrition practices with the local production of nutrient-dense as well as nutritionally-fortified foods, micro-finance to support income generating activities for women, and institutional capacity building for local governments and communities. It will integrate packages of interventions to improve the lives of 165 000 women and children and reach half of all households in rural areas of Kolda and Kedougou, where one out of four people is malnourished.

In order to do this, PINKK will:

  • Increase the availability of micronutrient-rich foods by supporting local communities -- especially women -- to produce, transform and sell local products, including vegetables, fruit, and small animals, as well as to fortify local staples such as flour with micronutrients. This objective will be supported by World Vision, which will organize training, and by DID, which will facilitate access to financial, as well as non-financial, services to businesses and women's groups involved in producing micronutrient-rich foods.
  • Support good nutrition and health activities, such as exclusive breastfeeding, hand washing, micronutrient supplementation, and care for young children by building the skills of local health workers and community health volunteers to promote and scale up those practices.
  • Work in conjunction with the CLM to strengthen the capacity of local government structures to manage nutrition plans and programs.

PINKK was launched in Kedougou on December 12, during a ceremony attended by over 1,000 community members -- mostly women and children -- from nearby villages. Officials included His Excellency Mr. Philippe Beaulne, Canadian Ambassador to Senegal, the Honourable Aminata Mbengue Ndiaye, Minister of Husbandry and Livestock Production for Senegal (representing the Prime Minister of Senegal), and numerous other high level local officials.

The program launch falls in the wake of the 15th Francophonie Summit held in Dakar in November 2014, where member countries -- including Canada -- pledged to promote women and children's nutrition and to support innovative partnerships such as the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement and MI with the Resolution on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health.

A world leader in the fight against malnutrition, MI has spent the last 20 years working to support countries to scale up nutrition, starting with the most vulnerable populations, with low-cost, high-impact nutrition interventions -- to the benefit of over 500 million people in 70 countries -- every year.


"Canada is a recognized global champion in the fight to end malnutrition, showing the way and breaking new ground. PINKK brings together the cross-sectoral expertise of three Canadian organisations in an innovative partnership model that attacks malnutrition from all sides. Focussing on women -- the drivers of development -- the project blends nutrition, food production, microfinance and income generation to ensure maximum impact and sustainability. MI is honoured to take the lead on this initiative and is grateful to the Government of Canada for its forward thinking," said MI President and CEO Joel Spicer.

"PINKK demonstrates the strong commitment of Canada not only to the health of mothers, newborns and children, but also to the economic and social development of the regions of Kolda and Kedougou," said His Excellency Mr. Philippe Beaulne, Canadian Ambassador to Senegal.

"With over 30 years of experience in health, nutrition and food security, World Vision Senegal is very pleased to be a partner in such an innovative project as PINKK. In partnership, this project allows us to improve our community development approach to further demonstrate our long term commitment to the communities -- it is part of what we already do in our areas of intervention in Kolda and Kedougou, particularly in improving nutrition of children, families and communities," stated Andrew Catford, National Director, World Vision Senegal.

"For the Government of Senegal, PINKK is particularly important, as it fits in with the multisectoral spirit of its new national policy on nutrition development. The project is also a reflection of the country's desire to strengthen the capacity of local populations when it comes to development and nutrition issues," said Abdoulaye Ka, National Coordinator, CLM.

"Access to counseling services in business management and access to finance are essential components to the economic empowerment of women; they will be supported by PINKK to improve the living conditions of their households. We are very proud to contribute with our work to the success and sustainability of effective activities to be supported by this important project," said Anne Gaboury, President and CEO of DID.

More detailed information about PINKK is available at

Contact Information:

For more information:
Katia Thériault
Global Communications Manager
Micronutrient Initiative
Tel.: 613-690-6853