Two smiling children with arms around one another, a tree in the foreground.

Building a Healthier, Sustainable Haiti

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Childhood malnutrition and lack of economic opportunity have long plagued Haiti. Today, an innovative partnership is helping Haiti find solutions to these challenges.

 

Abbott, the Abbott Fund and Partners in Health are fighting malnutrition and expanding opportunity in Haiti.

 

Hear local team members talk about the new Nourimanba Production Facility in central Haiti.

Working together with experts from the nonprofit organization Partners in Health (PIH) and its Haitian sister organization, Zanmi Lasante, more than 50 Abbott specialists in science, manufacturing, engineering and other areas designed and built an 18,000-square-foot facility that produces Nourimanba – a peanut-based, highly nutritious treatment for severe malnutrition in children. Nourimanba is distributed free to children through PIH’s hospitals and clinics across rural Haiti. To date, more than 14,000 hours of volunteer technical support has been provided by Abbott, along with $6.5 million in funding support from Abbott and the Abbott Fund.

Nurturing Haiti’s economy as well as children
The new facility also will make fortified peanut butter for the wider Haitian market. Over time, income from peanut butter sales will help PIH cover the costs of making Nourimanba, while creating economic opportunities that are desperately needed in Haiti.

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A fertile ground for home-grown enterprise
With Haiti’s rich agricultural history and ideal growing conditions in the Central Plateau, there is tremendous opportunity to expand local peanut cultivation – which will provide a reliable supply for the new facility.

In 2013, working together with PIH’s local sister organizations, Zanmi Lasante and Zanmi Agrikol, as well as the international nonprofit TechnoServe, the partnership piloted a new business supply chain model to expand the supply of quality, cost-competitive peanuts while boosting incomes for approximately 300 local smallholder farmers. These farmers acquired new skills and expertise in farming and received financing for seeds, fertilizer and other supplies. In addition, 35 local residents were recruited and trained to provide services such as tillage and harvest collection.

Results indicate the effort has significantly improved crop quality while boosting farmers’ incomes. Based on the success of the pilot, other partners are now replicating and expanding this model across Haiti, with the goal of improving farming and increasing income for farmers across the country.

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FINDING THE UPSIDE IN LOCAL FARMING We’re helping Haiti with an innovative agricultural/manufacturing program designed to become fully sustainable over time. A modern new manufacturing facility, fully staffed by Haitians, produces Nourimanba, a peanut-based treatment for severe malnutrition in children. The peanuts used in this life-saving product are grown by Haitian farmers, and the project’s agricultural training programs are helping those farmers produce more and better peanuts. In time, the manufacturing plant will also use locally grown peanuts to make peanut butter tailored to the Haitian market – and sales of that peanut butter will help support continued free distribution of Nourimanba. That’s the Upside.
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