ISLAMABAD: Secretary Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Syed Zafar Ali Shah chaired a meeting with nutrition stakeholders to discuss the post-flood nutrition and food security concerns in Pakistan on Wednesday.
He said that the flooding is expected to result in an additional 7.6 million people experiencing food insecurity, bringing the total number to 14.6 million.
The meeting aimed to assess the current situation, progress made, and future plans of action. Development partners, provincial P&D departments, and relevant stakeholders from the health and nutrition sections were present.
During the meeting, the chief Nutrition Section delivered opening remarks highlighting the devastating impact of floods on food production and high inflation causing food shortages in the country. It was reported that nearly 48 percent of households lost their stored cereal stock due to floods in 2022.
The secretary Planning reviewed the updates provided by development partners and provincial stakeholders, commending their contributions in dealing with post-flood disaster management initiatives and financial support.
The secretary emphasised the government’s key nutrition initiatives, including the BISP Nashonuma Programme, which aims to tackle stunting among pregnant and lactating women and their children.
The programme is currently operational in 152 districts.
The secretary Planning also noted that the government's project to develop the 20 poorest districts in Pakistan, which included improvements in infrastructure, agriculture, healthcare, and social protection, will help vulnerable communities to cope better with the impact of floods.
The meeting also discussed the formation of a multi-sectoral national nutrition policy and action plan, a national multi-sectoral nutrition umbrella programme to reduce stunting, early childhood development programme, school nutrition and meal programme, and a comprehensive national nutrition survey. The secretary further stressed the importance of mobilising funds generated through the Geneva Conference and effectively utilising available funds to reap maximum benefits.
The participants emphasised the importance of addressing post-flood nutrition and food security concerns in Pakistan and taking proactive measures to mitigate the impact of future disasters.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023