Intergovernmental Institution for the Use of Micro-Algae Spirulina Against Malnutrition (IIMSAM), Intergovernmental Observer to the United Nations Economic and Social Council, encourages the case for ‘Spirulina Platensis’ in the fight against malnutrition – the world’s number one killer.
Over the last decade, IIMSAM has been accelerating efforts towards bringing the superfood plant source to populations suffering from acute malnutrition. “There is a need for both national governments and inter-governmental organizations to re-evaluate the potential of Spirulina”, states the UN-Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Report on Spirulina 2008.
In addition to working towards making Spirulina a household name, IIMSAM now calls upon global support to adopt and encourage wider use of the crop, especially during the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition between 2016–2025. This period reaffirms the call to end all forms of malnutrition as anchored in the Rome Declaration and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and provides a unique avenue for a sustained global push on nutrition.
H.E. Ambassador Remigio Maradona, Secretary General of IIMSAM expresses, “2014 marked the 40th anniversary of the U.N. World Food Conference of 1974 where Spirulina was declared “best future food for mankind. It saddens me when I think about how many lives could have been helped with Spirulina in the last 40 years had the international community had the political will to live by their own words on Spirulina, when they gave it the profound acclamation above.”
“As estimated by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, over 795 million people in the world remain undernourished due to the lack of sufficient food, including over 159 million children that suffer from nutritional stunting, wasting syndrome, as well as other effects of malnutrition such as weight loss and anemia,” H.E. Ambassador Maradona continues.
Global efforts by IIMSAM continue to help nations, but there is the need for a larger, unified effort to truly reap the benefits of this ‘wonder food’. In Kisumu, Kenya, for instance, thousands suffering from acute malnutrition have benefited from the IIMSAM Sheikh Zayed Centre for Free Distribution of Spirulina, since the center’s establishment in 2009.
Spirulina is positioned to become a catalyst in addressing global malnutrition, and IIMSAM is the only IGO mandated to disseminate Spirulina as a humanitarian instrument in fighting acute malnutrition. IIMSAM and its strategic partners are also addressing the technical and economic solutions that need to be addressed to improve Spirulina production in impoverished environments.
Awareness of the use of Spirulina as a nutritional supplement, as a replacement to traditional crops where conditions affect yield, and even as a temporary solution in areas that see a shortage of adequate food supply, is imperative to its establishment as a key tool in the global fight against malnutrition.
H.E. Ambassador Maradona calls on member nations, supporting states and strategic partners to act in an unprecedented synergy of cooperation:
“Now that Spirulina’s future has arrived, there is no more time for lip service. It’s the time to do ‘concrete deeds’.”