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One Pakistan

Published Date: Aug 7, 2012

SPEAKERS SAY STUDY ON FOOD SECURITY TO HELP GIVE BETTER POLICY FOR ADDRESSING HUNGER MALNUTRITION

Speakers said Tuesday that Food Security and Nutrition Assessment Study 2012 would provide vital evidences for better policy decision to address hunger and malnutrition in the country.

They stated this at an inception meeting organized by Sustainable Development Policy Institute and World Food Programme (WFP) here. The inception meeting on  Food Security and Nutrition Assessment Study 2012  was chaired by Dr. Shakeel Ahmad Khan, Wheat Commissioner, Ministry of National Food Security and Research and attended by representatives from WFP, UNICEF, FAO, DFID, Oxfam GB, Agha Khan Foundation, PARC, MGPO, ActionAid, PIDE and UN-Women.  Sadaf Liaquat of SDPI moderated the proceedings.

Participants were briefed that study is commissioned by Ministry of National Food Security and Research that would jointly be conducted by SDPI and WFP in collaboration from FAO and UNICEF. Results from analysis will show the numbers of food insecure people in different parts of the country and provide malnutrition figures, including stunting and underweight among children under five years of age.

The study is the continuation of SDPI, WFP and SDC s  Food Security Report 2009  and would update the food security situation in the country in view of likely changes due to flood disasters and rising food prices since 2009.

Dr. Abid Qaiyum Suleri, Executive Director, SDPI briefed participants on the outline and methodology of the study. He said, proposed study is based on a composite food security index comprising of indicators such as food availability, access and utilization along with added features of nutrition and vulnerabilities. Deliberating on methodology, he said, we would try to make best use of existing data set from various national surveys already conducted on the subject and would try to fill the gaps in existing knowledge through primary data collected in districts and regions across Pakistan.

He informed that initial findings based on the secondary data would be announced in December this year whereas the comprehensive report is expected to be completed by May 2013. This report is a first step towards the implementation of National Zero Hunger Program and would pave the way for right policy decision to address food security before the announcement of Federal Budget 2013-14, he added.

Krishna Pahari of World Food Programme talked on the phase classification of study and said, a specialized analysis technique called  Small Area Estimates  would be used in the study that would provide reliable estimates from lower geographic level as well.  This technique would help in identifying food insecure areas within a food secure district and region, he added.

Shakeel Ahmad Ramay, Coordinator Climate Change Study Center, SDPI spoke on the vulnerabilities analysis, a very vital and important aspect of study that would rank the districts on the basis of their vulnerability.

He explored the links between vulnerability and insecurity and said, sometime social vulnerabilities along with conflicts and disasters turn food secure districts into insecurity. He also discussed vulnerabilities in detail including climate change induced disasters, recent floods in Pakistan, , the report would analyze the non-traditional security threat Participants also suggested analysis of demographic survey for the study, interaction with disaster management bodies, consultation with provinces, exploring the causes of food insecurity, embedding the gender dimension and mapping the impact of rural urban migration to understand food insecurity in