Fight against Hidden Hunger in Africa

Fight against Hidden Hunger in Africa

Siegen/Kampala. Erich Utsch AG supports a pionneering social project in Uganda with 20,000 Euros. The symbolic presentation of the donation cheque took place in front of high-level diplomats in Kampala on 10 July 2018. 

From left to right: Ambassador Amin Mavji (Aga Khan Development Network), Ambassador Deborah Malac (US Embassy), Ambassador Attilio Pacifici (Head of EU Delegation), Harish Bhupatni  (Chairman at Maama Care) Simil Bedi (UTSCH Business Development Manager), Smita Bhuptani (Vice Chairperson at Maama Care), Robert Bariho (General Manager at Maama Care)

Hunger in war and crisis regions has been and will remain one of mankind's most pressing problems. In addition to this obvious need, there is another phenomenon that threatens people worldwide beyond acute crises in actually stable regions and states: hidden hunger caused by poverty.

The paradox is: Although people eat daily, eating is not enough to maintain their physical health and performance in the long run. One reason for this can be a one-sided diet based on rice, corn or wheat, or cheap, inferior food that satisfy hunger but is not really nutritious. In both cases, the daily diet does not contain enough vitamins, minerals, trace elements, essential fatty acids and proteins - ingredients that are indispensable for a healthy human organism in the long term.

The long-term consequences of this malnutrition are as life-threatening as acute hunger. A weakened immune system, for example, makes people more susceptible to all kinds of diseases, and even relatively harmless injuries or infections can be fatal, especially for the weakest ones, such as children, the elderly and the chronically ill. In addition, malnutrition can already damage the development of children in the womb, with lifelong consequences. And even if it does not come to the extreme, weakened health reduces physical and mental performance as well as the individual ability to work and thus increases the risk of poverty and reduces the chance of a better diet.

The Maama Care Foundation has taken up the cause of breaking this classic vicious circle in its home country Uganda. The basic idea: needy people to be supplied with balanced, optimally processed food at cost price.

Maama Care Foundation is a Uganda based non-profit Foundation making a sustainable and positive contribution to the nutrition and economic wellbeing of socially and economically disadvantaged communities. The mission is to manufacture high quality, affordable (non-profit), fortified ready-to-eat (RTE) and ready-to-use-therapeutic-foods (RUTF) using local raw materials with a well-balanced macronutrient and micronutrient composition to address malnutrition and hidden hunger.

The initiator of Maamacare is Harish Bhuptani, a long-standing partner of UTSCH, who, out of philanthropic conviction, wanted to put his business success at the service of a sustainable, social project: "Appropriate nutrition is a human right that we want to promote at local and regional level with our modest means”. This is to be taken literally, because the products and ingredients required are purchased (as far as possible) exclusively from local producers. The project will engage local farmers by buying their produce directly without involving middlemen i.e., maize, wheat, millet, soya, peanut, sesame, oil, sugar etc. RTE and RUTF will incorporate local raw materials and promote consumption of healthy, dietary diversity foods in Uganda and the region.

Additionally, the project will employ socially and economically vulnerable groups e.g. women, the disabled, youth in product distribution to provide gainful employment with dignity.

This is how Maamacare provides double support: to the needy parts of the population as well as to the domestic agricultural sector, which often suffers from competition due to cheaply imported, subsidised food. 

The partners in government, non-government organizations (NGOs), private sector, donor agencies are therefore invited to support and work together in order to achieve the following:

SDG 2 - Promoting Zero Hunger through affordable, fortified foods (The foods which will be produced in this modern factory shall be made from ‘BIO FORTIFIED’ crops and further fortified with vitamins and minerals) RTE & RUTF for vulnerable groups

SDG 3 - Promoting good health and wellbeing through high quality RTE and RUTF providing complete nutrition with well-balanced macronutrients and micronutrients and produced to the highest quality standards.

Special food formulations for the following groups shall be prepared:
1.    Pregnant Women
2.    Infants
3.    Lactating Mothers
4.    School Going Children
5.    HIV/AIDS, TB Patients
6.    Diabetic and Pressure Patients
7.    Refugees
8.    Emergency Foods during disasters like floods, landslides, Earthquakes etc.

Under this scenario, Erich Utsch AG is helping to meet Maama Care Foundation’s vision to apply innovative, result driven and sustainable approaches to addressing malnutrition and hidden hunger among socially and economically vulnerable communities in Africa.

An idea with great potential that can serve as a supra-regional model for improving people's living conditions through consistent local action. "It is therefore a great pleasure for us to support the Maama Care Foundation in its work with an initial donation of 20,000 Euros," says Tilman Schwinn, the UTSCH Board Member responsible for Sales and Technology. Because: "Where there is hunger, whether obvious or hidden, there is a lack of prospects and marked structural inequality, in other words: classic factors to drive people into an economically motivated escape, often with an uncertain outcome.”

In recent years, Europe and Germany in particular have impressively learned what international upheavals such refugee movements could trigger. "We believe that the Maamacare model can be an important milestone in combating the reasons of refugees to leave their homes in otherwise safe countries and to indirectly and sustainably strengthen the civil societies there.”

Press Release Maamacare Harish Bhuptani.pdf