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Daily Times

Published Date: Jul 28, 2012


The Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) and United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), on Friday, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to produce an assessment of the food security and nutrition situation in Pakistan.

The MoU was signed by WFP Pakistan Deputy Country Director and Officer-in-Charge Mageed Yahia and SDPI Executive Director Dr Abid Qayyum Suleri.

Ministry of National Food Security and Research (MNFS) Wheat Commissioner Dr Shakeel Ahmad Khan was the chief guest at the ceremony, while Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Country Representative Dr Kevin D Gallagher was also present at the occasion. The assessment, which will draw on data collected in districts and regions across Pakistan, was commissioned by the MNFSR to update the food security situation in the country in view of likely changes due to flood disasters and rising food prices since 2009.

Results from the analysis would show the numbers of food-insecure people in different parts of the country and provide malnutrition figures, including stunting and underweightness among children under five years and the Global Acute Malnutrition Rates.

The report will be produced in collaboration with United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). Dr Shakeel Ahmad Khan said the government of Pakistan valued the independent opinion and output of this study and would provide a baseline for policymakers to set priorities in future.

Mageed Yahia said the assessment would provide crucial data for all organisations involved in fighting malnutrition and addressing the food needs of the population. He said it was the first major step forward under the government’s Zero Hunger Programme, launched earlier this year.

Dr Suleri said the right set of policies required the right set of information and that this report would be important to combat food insecurity in Pakistan. He said the report was the continuity of SDPI’s earlier reports of 2001, 2003 and 2009, which were considered the “bible” on food security in Pakistan.