A Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-supported project will be launched at Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari’s office on November 01, 2019.
The special not-for-profit – Baliyo Nepal aims to improve Nepal’s nutritional status and reduce hunger in the country. The Chaudhary Foundation – a CSR initiative by the Chaudhary Group received a grant of USD 788,192 in October 2018 to develop and launch the nutrition project.
Baliyo Nepal will utilize the support of the private sector and civil society to reduce chronic malnutrition in the country.
“The whole emphasis of the initiative is to bring a novel demand and supply approach involving citizens and private sector to help ongoing government initiatives in the stubborn fight against malnutrition,” says Dr. Swarnim Wagle, Chairperson, Baliyo Nepal.
Baliyo Nepal has a five-member decision-making panel including Nabil Bank CEO Anil Shah, Nepal Former Cricket Captain Paras Khadka, Dr. Uma Koirala and businessman Niravana Chaudhary, headed by Wagle.
The organization will work with Nepal’s food industry to increase the supply of affordable and nutritious food and create the demand for these products through social marketing and behavior change interventions.
In the initial year of launch, the organization will tie up with four private companies – Avinash, Bhuramal Lunkarandas Conglomerate (BLC), Dugar and Shreenagar Agro Farms.
The promoters of the project will encourage the consumption of eggs and fortified porridge and increase people’s access to these products. BLC & Dugar will be launching the first individual & affordable single-serving sachets of fortified porridge in Nepal’s Province 5 from December 03, 2019.
“We will work only with products with high nutritional standards, those that meet Australia’s Health Star Rating >3 and it excludes noodles and all junk food. Our first wave of programs will deal with complementary feeding for 6-23 months-old children, involving affordable porridge and eggs,” said Dr Wagle.
Dr Wagle shares that Baliyo Nepal is coming up with a variety of interventions to improve food habits, primarily focusing on lower-income adolescent girls, women of reproductive age and children between 06-23 months.
Baliyo Nepal says that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will keep continuing to assist the project in terms of funding behavior change, consumer marketing, nutrition science and product development.
In line with its Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), Nepal aims to reduce stunting in children due to malnutrition to 15 percent by 2030, from the existing 36 percent recorded in 2016. Although Nepal made significant with reducing stunting in children from 57 percent in 2001 to 36 percent currently, the country has a long way to go.