Published Date: Jul 28, 2012
WFP-SDPI INK MOU ON FOOD SECURITY AND NUTRITION STUDY
The Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) and the World Food Programme (WFP) put signatures on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to prepare an assessment of food security and nutrition situation in Pakistan here on Friday.
The MoU was signed by Mageed Yahia, deputy country director of the WFP Pakistan, and Dr. Abid Qaiyum Suleri, executive director of the SDPI. Dr. Shakeel Ahmad Khan, wheat commissioner at the Ministry of National Food Security and Research (MNFSR), was the chief guest on the occasion.
The assessment 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 will collect data in districts and regions across Pakistan. Results from analysis will show the number of food insecure people in different parts of the country and provide malnutrition figures, including stunting and underweight among below five years children and Global Acute Malnutrition Rates.
The report will be produced in collaboration with United Nations Children’s Fund and FAO.
Mageed Yahia said that the assessment will provide crucial data for all organisations involved in fighting malnutrition and addressing the food needs of the population and is the first major step forward under the government’s Zero Hunger Programme launched earlier this year.
Dr Kevin D. Gallagher, country representative of the Food and Agriculture Organisation, said that despite a cereal exporting country, Pakistan faces challenges in domestic food availability and accessibility in the country. This report, he said, would help in understanding the dynamics of food security at household level and result into better policies aimed at improving food access, availability and consumption in the country.
Dr. Suleri said that the right set of policies requires the right set of information and this report would be important to combat food insecurity in Pakistan. He said this report is the continuity of SDPI’s earlier reports in 2001, 2003, and 2009, which were considered the bible on food security in Pakistan. He informed that after floods of 2010 and 2011, ground realities were changed and this necessitated the fresh study on food security in Pakistan. He said that preliminary finding would be available in December this year while comprehensive report would be published in March 2013.
Speaking at the occasion, Dr Shakeel Ahmad Khan said that the government of Pakistan values the independent opinion and output and hoped that this study would provide a baseline for policy-makers to set priorities for future.