Kiwanis Children’s Fund grant to help fight IDD in 2 countries

Jennifer Morlan | Feb 21, 2020

  Girls in Morocco eat a meal rich in micronutrients.

Children in Myanmar and Morocco will have a better chance to reach their full potential thanks to a US$336,000 grant the Kiwanis Children’s Fund awarded UNICEF to fight iodine deficiency disorders. 

Millions of children in these countries are at risk of IDD. In Morocco, 40% of infants have poor thyroid functions, a result of their mothers not receiving enough iodine in their diets while they were pregnant. This can lead to lifelong repercussions on a child’s learning ability and potential earnings as an adult. 

In Myanmar, only one-third of the population has access to adequately iodized salt, the primary weapon against IDD, according to UNICEF USA. Over the past two decades, UNICEF has worked with the government to stress the importance of salt iodization, but compliance with national standards is low.

The effects of IDD can damage lives. An iodine-deficient diet can lead to severely impaired mental development, robbing a child of promise and potential. 

Large-scale access to edible iodized salt remains the standard for controlling and preventing iodine deficiency disorders. The Iodine Global Network says salt iodization only costs two to five cents per child worldwide.

The grant, which was approved by the Children’s Fund Board in February, will allow UNICEF to:

  • Support the governments’ efforts to improve their salt iodization programs.

  • Improve quality control and operating systems of salt industries, including packing and distribution of iodized salt.

  • Raise awareness and demand of iodization programs through communication, advocacy and social mobilization. 

“We are pleased to be able to support the efforts to improve the lives of children in Myanmar and Morocco,” said Children’s Fund President Ann Wilkins. “Kiwanis has been dedicated to fighting IDD for many years, and this is yet another example of our commitment to this cause.” 

The fight against IDD is an ongoing one. Even in countries that have enjoyed great progress, sustainability is a key part of the effort for UNICEF and the Kiwanis Children’s Fund. In fact, support for the Children’s Fund has sustained the effort — bringing this life-changing initiative to more kids whose health and development depend on it.  


Vision Partners

Be a Partner