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Sustaining efforts to eliminate IDD

Jul 26, 2017

Kiwanis’ first ever Global Campaign for Children was an effort in the 1990s to eliminate Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD), the single greatest cause of preventable brain damage. Though the IDD project was completed, we continue to support sustainability efforts. In July, the Children’s Fund granted US$340,000 to UNICEF for additional support in Cambodia.

In the 1990s, Kiwanis leveraged $100 million and worked with UNICEF to facilitate salt iodization all over the world. Since 1999, UNICEF has been working with the Cambodian government to facilitate salt iodization; however, the nation has seen many setbacks. The process for iodizing salt in Cambodia was not properly regulated and lacked quality control. Then in 2011, disaster struck at a nuclear power plant in Fukushima, Japan, the area from which Cambodia imports much of its iodine supply. This disaster caused the price of iodine to triple for Cambodia, greatly delaying its progress against IDD.

In April 2016, UNICEF began phase one of a new salt-iodization program for Cambodia, with a strong focus on sustainability. With assistance of a grant from the Kiwanis Children’s Fund, UNICEF will begin phase two of the program in 2017, to include more frequent monitoring and more effective regulation of the production of iodized salt.

Because of your support of the Kiwanis Children’s Fund, we are able to make grants like these that impact children worldwide. With this grant, we protect children for generations to come from easily preventable mental and physical disabilities.