Iodine deficiency disorders (IDD) continue to be one of the world’s leading causes of preventable mental impairment. Our bodies need iodine to produce thyroid hormones, which are essential for the correct development of the brain.
Iodine deficiency is accelerated by natural geological processes and some agricultural practices. As a result, it is not limited to developing countries or areas with poor access to a healthy, varied diet.
Severe iodine deficiency may reduce a child's IQ by 10-15 points, resulting in poorer school performance and worse economic prospects later in life. Iodine deficiency can impair the social and economic wellbeing of entire communities.
Jim Grant, UNICEF's visionary leader and advocate for children, said it best. Without iodine, no one can achieve their full human potential:
What are we doing to change this?
We work to support salt iodization - a safe, sustainable, and cost-effective way of improving iodine status. According to the World Bank, and the Copenhagen Consensus
, salt iodization is one of the best nutritional investments around: there's probably no other technology that offers as large an opportunity to improve lives at such low cost and in such a short time.
For every dollar spent, we get $30 in return productivity. For every $100 invested in salt iodization, we can help 10,000 individuals sustain existing protection against iodine deficiency via salt iodization programs for 1 year.
In 2018 around 86% of the world has access to iodized salt.
What is our goal?
Thanks to iodized salt, the number of iodine deficient countries has decreased from 110 in 1993 to only 19 in 2017.
We believe in a world where every child can achieve his or her maximum intellectual and social potential. With our partners, we strive to eliminate iodine deficiency and help achieve optimal iodine nutrition for all by 2020.
We're motivated by our recent progress, and we're thrilled with the growing support from donors around the world.
Who is with us?
Because salt iodization is a proven, evidence-based, and cost-effective intervention, the IGN has been recognized as an outstanding giving opportunity by the charity evaluator GiveWell and Peter Singer's charity The Life You Can Save, most recently in November 2017.
We've struck up partnerships with a number of like-minded individuals and organizations (e.g., online donation platforms and charitable projects) who continue believing in our work and supporting us towards our goal.
You too, can help us raise the world's I.Q!
Even the smallest donation can be used in a meaningful way to support existing iodization programs, help improve them, or advocate with national governments to put iodine nutrition high on the public health agenda.
All donated funds are pooled and channeled toward specific activities at the national, regional, and global level. Because we work globally, your request to use your donation in a specific country or region can usually be accommodated.