Nutrition: local production and distribution of spirulina

Hunger and malnutrition

Today, some 925 million people in the world suffer from hunger, the vast majority of them in developing countries*. The right to food is recognised in Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in Article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, yet no international legal framework exists to enforce the compliance of signatory States.

The real issue, though, is not of hunger, but of malnutrition. This pathological condition arises when the supply of micronutrients (vitamins, minerals and essential amino acids) is insufficient for the body to grow properly and to maintain its vital functions.

Chronic malnutrition : an invisible killer

According to the WHO, malnutrition is a factor in around 40% of the 11 million deaths of children under five recorded every year in developing countries. But only a fraction of these children who die of hunger find themselves in a context of famine or war.

In most of these cases, children suffer from moderate, chronic malnutrition, which does not give rise to obvious medical symptoms. However, recurring nutritional deficiencies have a disastrous effect on a child’s health: a weakening of the immune system, a slowing of development and an increased risk of mortality. Thanks to the local cultivation of spirulina, it is possible to achieve sustained improvement in the nutritional status of such children.

Spirulina, a food supplement that can be made locally

Antenna is active in the local production and distribution of spirulina, a microalga of high nutritional value, of which a daily dose of just a few grams can lead to spectacular improvements in the nutritional state of malnourished children. Antenna also pursue awareness and information activities on nutrition and spirulina.

* FAO, Department of Economic and Social Development, 2010