Minister for National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination, Aamer Mehmood Kiani said that the Government of Pakistan is committed to address Nutrition issue in line with the mission of health care for all. He expressed these views while talking to Regional Director, World Food Programme (WFP) for Asia and Pacific, David Kaatrud at his office in Islamabad.
He said that Nutrition of mothers and specially children needs utmost attention as they are the future of our nation. Government is also focusing on nutrition of adolescent girls as these are the future mothers and their health would ensure health of the children.
Appreciating the efforts of World Food Programme in targeting the issue of food security and malnutrition in Pakistan, he said that different interventions are being carried out through the support of WFP in the country for prevention of stunting, management of acute malnutrition and specially food fortification.
He assured all out support in their efforts to improve nutrition status of Pakistani population. He said that the preliminary findings of NNS 2018 also suggested that the nutrition situation in Pakistan needs concerted and joint efforts especially in far flung and under-privileged and less developed areas in the country. He said that with the combined efforts of federal and provincial governments, development partners and other stakeholders, the government would achieve all targets as committed in SDGs.
David Kaatrud shared different initiatives that WFP is carrying out in Pakistan to target malnutrition and food security. He said that the support by WFP gained momentum and became strategic and programme oriented during last few years.
He further said that WFP Pakistan was also supporting Nutrition Wing of the Ministry in revitalization and effective functioning of National Fortification Alliance which was playing a key role in policy making, oversight and monitoring of food fortification in the country Regional Director shared some of the intervention in which WFP was supporting the Ministry of Health technically and financially. These include stunting prevention project which has proved very successful as per evaluation of AKU.
In addition, WFP was providing support in getting exemption of taxes and duties on import of raw material for Specialized Nutritious Food (SNF) production, support in feasibility study for rice fortification in Pakistan and initiation of fortification of wheat flour produced by Chakkis with vitamin and minerals. Furthermore, WFP is also interested to support the government in commercialization of locally produced SNF, so that everyone who is malnourished can have access.