ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – Princess Sarah Zeid of Jordan Friday met with Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Nets, Dr Sania Nishtar to discuss current projects aimed at fighting malnutrition in Pakistan.
“The 1000-day window is critical for nutrition outcomes for the health of children and mothers”, said Dr Sania Nishtar. “Our country is grappling with the double burden of malnutrition, she added, said a statement issue on Friday. “Under-nutrition in young children and over-nutrition later in life lead to higher risk of costly diseases, like hypertension and diabetes.
Both sides of the same coin of malnutrition are on painful display. We are committed to addressing these”, she reiterated. The meeting was part of a high-level mission by Princess Sarah to Pakistan hosted by the World Food Programme.
Addressing the meeting, Princess Sarah lauded the Government of Pakistan’s commitment to address malnutrition across the country. She reiterated that malnutrition had long lasting consequences for families and countries. “I highly appreciate the multisectoral programmatic steps being taken by the Government of Pakistan under “Ehsaas” programme to achieve nutrition driven outcomes,” the Prince said.
In collaboration with the World Food Program, a new mother and child health and nutrition initiative to address stunting in children using specialized nutrition food and conditional cash transfers is in the final stages of getting deployed. Ehsaas is planning a ration card scheme in collaboration with the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the World Food Program for poverty stricken newly merged districts.
A nationwide soup kitchens (Langars) have been launched as part of a new public-private partnership mode with a private Trust at zero cost to the government to ensure nutritious meals for the poorest and most marginalized.
Princess Sarah is a Special Advisor to the World Food Programme (WFP) on Mother and Child Nutrition, campaigns globally to bring attention to the criticality of good nutrition in the first 1,000 days from conception to a child’s second birthday. Tackling malnutrition is also a core focus of “Ehsaas’, the government’s pioneering poverty alleviation programme.
The meeting was part of a high-level mission to Pakistan hosted by the World Food Programme. Officials from the World Food Programme and the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development also attended the meeting. The Pakistan National Nutrition Coordination Council was founded as the country’s highest coordinating body on nutrition to drive forward multisectoral action.