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Nobel Laureates rank micronutrients for kids as the most cost-effective aid effort.
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The Micronutrients

Vitamin A

The kids you reach with vitamin A will be 23% more likely to live to adulthood and 70% less likely to go blind. Every year 670,000 children die from this deficiency.


Diarrhea kills 1.9 million children a year, more than measles, malaria, and AIDS combined. By giving them zinc and ORS (salts) you double their chance of surviving.

The Micronutrients Copenhagen Consensus Secondary Effects Charity FAQ Intro Video


When fortify a kid's food with iodine, that kid will be 13.5 IQ points smarter by adulthood. Each year, 38 million kids are born iodine-deficient, an annual world deficit of 500 billion IQ pts.


Fix anemia with iron. One in four kids have iron-deficiency anemia. Anemia drains energy, lowers educational outcomes, and costs the world billions in lost productivity.


Give pregnant women Folate and they'll have healthier babies. Folate lowers neural tube defects by 50% and is essential to an infant's development of spine, skull, and brain.


Worms rob the digestive system of nutrients. When you deworm a kid, the food they eat will lead to better physical fitness, appetite, and performance in school.

Copenhagen Consensus

The Copenhagen Consensus gathers the world's leading economists to research and rank cost-effective solutions to world problems. Here are the top 15 solutions:

Solution Subject
1 Vitamin A and zinc supplements for children Micronutrients
2 The Doha development agenda Trade
3 Iron fortification and salt iodization Micronutrients
4 Expanded immunization coverage for children Immunizations
5 Biofortification Micronutrients
6 Deworming and nutrition programs at school Micronutrients
7 Lowering the price of schooling Education
8 Increase and improve girl's schooling Women
9 Community-based nutrition promotion Micronutrients
10 Provide support for women's reproductive role Women
11 Heart attack acute management Diseases
12 Malaria prevention and treatment Diseases
13 Tuberculosis case finding and treatment Diseases
14 R&D in low-carbon energy technologies Global Warming
15 Bio-sand filters for household water treatment Water
Secondary Effects

Economic Stability

One billion people suffer from low productivity due to iron-deficiency anemia. India loses $2.5 billion every year from anemia; China loses twice that. Countless more is lost to mental and physical disabilities from vitamin A, zinc, and iodine deficiency.


Children who receive iron, iodine, and deworming stay in school longer and have higher IQs. Under one review, micronutrient interventions were found to be four times more cost-effective than scholarships and eleven times more cost-effective than conditional-cash-transfers.

Women's Autonomy

A woman's poor health and the poor health of her children are often the strongest shackles to her discriminated condition. When a household is healthy, a woman is much more able to participate in the facets of her society: the work force, politics, and the education system.


Statistically, women who are wealthier, more educated, and more autonomous have fewer children. These three qualities result from micronutrient interventions.

Conflict Prevention

Addressing infant malnutrition and mortality can prevent wars, says the US State Failure Task Force. The Task Force studied 600 potential correlates and 113 cases of wars, state failure, and mass killings. They identified infant mortality as one of the top three predictive indicators of state failure.

Maternal Health

An American woman's lifetime risk of dying from birth complications is 1 in 9,000. For a Nigerian woman, it's 1 in 7. Many of the 500,000 women who die every year giving birth could be saved with folic acid, iron, and iodine.

Child Survival

Vitamin A and zinc are essential to the health of a child's immune system. Every year, ten million children die before their fifth birthday. Malnutrition contributes to over half of these deaths.


India and China are quickly becoming the world's heaviest polluters. Ensuring that populations are well-nourished is a prerequisite to addressing environmental issues. As China's Deputy of Environmental Affairs says, “you cannot tell people who are struggling to earn enough to eat that they need to reduce their emissions.”

Child Health

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