What is development's single biggest return on investment?

Marc Van Ameringen, executive director of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, talks food fortification with Devex associate editor Richard Jones.

Over the past 12 months, there has been much talk about financing for development. But in terms of successful development interventions, what has the best returns on such investment?

For Marc Van Ameringen, executive director of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, the answer lies in one of humanity’s most basic needs: food and nutrition.

Investment in food fortification in particular, he said, is the “single best return on investment of almost any development intervention.”

Part of the reason is the sector’s sustainability. Van Ameringen shared, for example, that public investment in fortification encourages other stakeholders — particularly from among the private sector — to leverage their expertise to make the process more efficient and effective.

“The government has to do a number of things but, after that, the market takes over and companies need to be kept honest,” he told Devex. “But once the standards are there, companies will add micronutrients into the processing.”

Watch the above video interview to learn more about Van Ameringen's views on the opportunities — as well as the challenges and risks — in making food fortification a sustainable global endeavor.

#FutureFortified is a special online series exploring the impact and importance of food fortification to meet global development objectives. Join Devex — and our partner GAIN — in the conversation using #FutureFortified.

About the author

  • Lean 2

    Lean Alfred Santos

    Lean Alfred Santos is a former Devex development reporter focusing on the development community in Asia-Pacific, including major players such as the Asian Development Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. He previously covered Philippine and international business and economic news, sports and politics.