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World Action on Salt. Sugar & Health

Eastern Mediterranean

Establishing salt reduction targets in the Eastern Mediterranean Region region

September 2020 - August 2022

As part of a funding package of over £200k received from Resolve to Save Lives, World Action on Salt, Sugar & Health (WASSH) has begun engagement with the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office (EMRO) and WASH members in the region to develop regional salt reduction targets and a toolkit. 

Read our press release here.

Bread is a leading source of salt in the diet in the Eastern Mediterranean region, along with processed meat, cheese and labneh, and consequently many countries have attempted to reduce salt levels in bread through working with manufacturers. However, many countries lack the resources to develop and implement salt reduction policies, such as salt targets; further regional guidance and toolkits on salt reduction will be key enablers. 

The WASSH team will work with the WHO EMRO regional office with a focus on Morocco and Jordan due to their status as lower middle income countries.  WASSH members in other countries that have made progress with salt reduction, including Oman and Kuwait, will also be involved. The WASSH team will engage government departments from all countries in the region and will also work, through the WHO EMRO, to engage key food manufacturers in the need to reduce salt levels in their products.

Project Overview

Specifically, the funding will be used to:

  • engage with WHO EMRO and WASSH members in the region to facilitate the adoption of Global Sodium Benchmarks, and to develop more ambitious regional salt reduction targets where appropriate;  
  • produce a regional salt reduction toolkit and organise media events, workshops and webinars to launch the targets; 
  • engage government departments across the region to ensure individual country commitment to the targets; 
  • work with Morocco and Jordan on specific, tailored projects to help accelerate their salt reduction progress. 
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