October 22, 2020 – A collaboration built around an innovative, integrated and multifaceted approach to fighting malnutrition for some of Senegal’s most vulnerable communities has improved the nutrition status and food security of tens of thousands of people over the last five years.
The Integrated Nutrition Project in the regions of Kolda and Kédougou (PINKK), funded by the Government of Canada (CA $20 million or CFA 8.5 billion), linked nutrition and public health, food security, and governance to increase access to micronutrient-rich foods and improve the management of nutrition-related aspects in the plans and programs of the Government of Senegal. It aimed to improve the nutrition status, health and food security for people in Kolda and Kédougou, particularly women and young children.
The PINKK project was implemented by the Government of Senegal with support from Nutrition International. Experiences and lessons learnt from the project were disseminated on October 22 during a virtual workshop to mark the end of the five-year (2015-2020) project. Speakers at the event included the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Equipment, Prof Moussa Baldé, Minister of Youth, Nene Fatoumata Tall, Minister of Health and Social Action, Abdoulaye Diouf SARR, Minister of Livestock and Animal Production, Samba NDIOBENE KA, Canada’s Ambassador to Senegal, His Excellency Mr. Sébastien Beaulieu and Nutrition International’s staff led by President and CEO Joel Spicer.
PINKK was aligned with the Government of Senegal’s multisectoral approach to nutrition as highlighted in its National Nutrition Development Plan. It was implemented by a multi-disciplinary team led by Nutrition International and comprised of the Cellule de lutte contre la malnutrition, World Vision, Développement international Desjardins, and a variety of actors from the departments of Health, Agriculture, Livestock, Youth, Territorial Communities and Administration, and Regional Development Agencies.
Nutrition International Senegal’s Country Director Balla Moussa Diedhiou noted that the aim of the dissemination workshop was to share key accomplishments and lessons learnt from PINKK, to build the appetite of government agencies, key donors and partners to scale up and sustain the successful interventions of PINKK, and to celebrate and commend stakeholders for PINKK’s accomplishments.
At the end of the PINKK project, the credit volume granted through the project initiatives amounted to CFA Francs 195,441,420 (Kolda CFA F 98,649,120, Kédougou CFA F 96,792,300), including CFA F 117,200,000 through financial institutions such as PAMECAS and Credit Mutuel Senegal − and nearly four thousand households saw their financial accessibility improved, leading to increased food security.
“Thanks to the support of the Government of Canada, and a highly collaborative approach with partners and local governments, PINKK has contributed to improving the nutritional status of tens of thousands of women and children in the Kolda and Kédougou regions,” said Joel Spicer, President and CEO of Nutrition International. “The reduction in anaemia, a major public health problem, among women in the targeted areas is of particular significance, and will lead to a decrease in maternal mortality and in the prevalence of low birth weight, allowing both mothers and newborns to survive and to thrive.”
Speaking during the event, Canada’s Ambassador to Senegal, His Excellency Mr. Sébastien Beaulieu said “Canada is very proud to have supported Senegal for the implementation of the Integrated Nutrition Project in Kolda and Kédougou, the PINKK project, with a budget of 8.4 billion CFA francs, for the period 2015 to 2020 Under the coordination of Nutrition International, in collaboration with the Unit for the fight against malnutrition, World Vision and Dévelopement International Desjardins, PINKK has improved maternal, newborn and child health in the targeted areas, and helped vulnerable households to strengthen their resilience and food security, and has amplified the empowerment of 1,793 girls from Girls’ Clubs, so that they become the women leaders of tomorrow. Canada firmly believes that good nutrition is fundamental for the empowerment of women and girls”.
During his opening remarks the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Equipment, Prof Moussa Baldé enlightened the audience on the choice made by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Equipment (MAER) to chair the workshop to disseminate the results of the PINKK which sufficiently proves the importance of the project to the promotion of nutrition-sensitive agriculture; to ensure the production of a wide range of nutritious, culturally appropriate, healthy, quality foods in sufficient quantity and at affordable prices to sustainably meet the food needs of the populations.
“The household-centered approach used by PINKK is undoubtedly a guarantee of success, the scaling up of which could promote the strengthening of the nutritional security and resilience of the most vulnerable households in Senegal, and of the sub-region,” said Prof Moussa Baldé.
“We are pleased to have disseminated both experiences and lessons learned. It is important to acknowledge what we have learned in Kolda and Kédougou so we can improve future projects with similar goals” said Dr. Richard Pendame, Regional Director for Nutrition International in Africa, while speaking at the event.
The PINKK project achievements include:
- 6,986 women of village savings and loans associations trained in financial education
- 849 women provided with access to business development services
- Four credit products developed and implemented in the two partner financial institutions for the project beneficiaries; and
- Credit provided to 1,152 women in the two partner financial institutions.