ISLAMABAD – A National Action Plan to address the scourge of nutrition in Pakistan came one step closer to reality today through a national consultation in the capital Islamabad. The Nutrition Section of the Ministry for Planning Development and Reforms and the UN World Food Programme (WFP) are coming together with government, academia, sister U.N. agencies and development partners to turn Pakistan’s Multi Sectoral Nutrition Strategy (PMNS) into action.
The strategy reflects the determination of government and stakeholders to lower the human, social and economic burden of malnutrition. Key consultations, plans and policies from sectors such as health, education, water and sanitation, agriculture and social protection, which all impact nutrition, contributed to the elaboration of the PMNS. With financial and technical support from WFP, this strategy builds on existing policies to forge a national framework, ensuring nutrition is supported by multiple sectors and stakeholders in Pakistan.
"The devastating impact of malnutrition on the lives of millions of women and children in Pakistan has multiple causes. This integrated planning approach brings together the key players who can defeat this scourge, not only ensuring a healthier brighter future for every family, but reclaiming the staggering USD $7.6 billion in lost opportunity costs to this great nation," said WFP Representative Finbarr Curran.
WFP has prioritized rigorous research and consultation with stakeholders to identify challenges and potential solutions through an integrated approach to nutrition and food security for the poorest of the poor. Technical consultations at provincial and regional level are being conducted to ensure key nutrition interventions have been prioritized, with objectives, actions, indicators and timelines aligned with the strategic objectives of the PMNS. WFP will continue its work with the government of Pakistan to develop a final National Action Plan.
WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with the communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists 80 million people in 80 countries.