Nutrition & Education International
"Little Seed. Big Hope."
NEI is an international nonprofit organization working to eradicate malnutrition in Afghanistan through the development of a self-sustainable soybean industry.
Mission: To reduce and prevent malnutrition and related illnesses in Afghanistan by establishing a self-sustainable soybean industry including soybean production, processing, and soy food culture development.
In 2003, Nutrition and Education International (NEI) was founded as a non-partisan, non-profit 501(c)3 organization based in Pasadena, CA. NEI exists to eradicate malnutrition among Afghan women and children through the provision of sustainable, soy-based nutritional solutions. It is a multi-sector approach that includes nutrition intervention, economic capacity building of the local population, promotion of gender equality, and support for education.
NEI has worked with over 30,000 farmers to harvest soybeans in all 34 provinces of Afghanistan. Partners also include other humanitarian organizations such as the World Food Program as well as government agencies of Afghanistan, United States, Korea, Japan, and Canada.
With offices in the USA, Korea, and Afghanistan, the majority of our funding and manpower is donated by charitable organizations and private citizens.
In 2012, NEI worked with over 7,000 farmers and harvested approximately 1,600 metric tons of soybeans. The harvest will be consumed directly by farmers' families, stored for the upcoming planting season, or processed and distributed through our Supplementary Soy Feeding Program during the winter months when people are the most vulnerable to malnutrition-based illnesses.
NEI estimates that if 300,000 tons of soybeans can be produced and consumed in Afghanistan, it will supply enough protein to potentially eradicate protein-based malnutrition in Afghanistan.
NEI's four-pillar strategy expands soy nutrition to end malnutrition in Afghanistan: 1. Soybean production 2. Humanitarian soymilk feeding program in high-mortality areas 3. Soy processing industry and soy food culture development 4. Women's Empowerment
Afghanistan has the highest infant mortality rate in the world. The country ranks as the 12th highest maternal mortality rate with rural areas reaching as high as 1 in every 4 women dying during childbirth. The majority of the population in Afghanistan suffers from chronic malnutrition. 25 times more Afghans die every year as a result of malnutrition and poverty than from violence.