UN-WFP launches lifesaving nutrition intervention in Pakistan in partnership with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
H.E. Mr. Mohammad Kalaf Al-Enzi stated: “We the people of Saudi Arabia will always stand with the people of Pakistan to fight against malnutrition in children, pregnant & lactating women of vulnerable districts of KP and AJK.
Muzaffarabad (VOM): As part of the United Nations World Food Programme’s partnership with King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSRelief), WFP launched its Community-Based Management of Acute Malnutrition Programme (CMAM) in Pakistan, aimed at preventing malnutrition in children under 5 years of age and pregnant and lactating women (PLW) in 14 vulnerable districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK)
The launch event was attended by the Deputy Head of Mission of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia H.E. Mr. Mohammad Kalaf Al-Enzi, Minister of Health in AJK Mr. Nisar Ansar Abdali, Minister of Finance in AJK Mr. Majid Khan, Director of KSRelief Dr. Khalid M. Al-Othmani, Deputy Country Director of WFP Ms. Rathi PalaKrishnan, representatives from the provincial governments of KP and AJK, civil society, and academia.
In her welcoming remarks, Ms. Rathi PalaKrishnan thanked KSRelief for the generous support and said: “As leaders of our organizations, communities, districts, provinces and states, let us all continue embarking on the journey to fight undernutrition and eradicate hunger for the children of Pakistan, and their children’s children”.
Her strong encouragement to put malnutrition on top of the agenda was followed by a presentation of the CMAM programme by WFP Pakistan. Through this project, WFP aims to support 57,500 malnourished children and PLW out of which 30,444 are children and 27,056 are PLW.
H.E. Mr. Mohammad Kalaf Al-Enzi stated: “We the people of Saudi Arabia will always stand with the people of Pakistan to fight against malnutrition in children, pregnant & lactating women of vulnerable districts of KP and AJK. I am very happy for the joint venture of KSRelief and the World Food Programme, and
for taking this amazing initiative”.
Minister of Finance Mr. Majid Khan in his remarks said that the government of AJK strongly appreciates the much-needed support from KSRelief and WFP and stated: “we want our mothers and children to be healthy and have a bright future”. Minister of Health Mr. Nisar Ansar Abdali highlighted the sustainability and long-term benefits of the implementation modality of the CMAM programme, which includes capacity strengthening of the Government’s Lady Health Workers (LHWs) and local community workers.
Pakistan has an extraordinarily high and persistent level of child undernutrition, which increases morbidity and mortality, impacts physical and cognitive growth, diminishes learning capacity and school performance, and leads to lower adult productivity. In response to this critical situation and recognizing the need for providing holistic multisectoral approach, WFP has been implementing nationwide programmes to treat and prevent undernutrition in the country. This includes the CMAM programme, which is implemented in conjunction with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
Dr. Khalid Muhammad Al-Othmani in his comments said: “On behalf of KSRelief I would like to thank the World Food Programme for helping us to support 57,500 malnourished children and pregnant & lactating women suffering from different kinds of diseases in the affected areas of KP and AJK. For many years, these regions have also been impacted by various risks and natural calamities”.
The event aimed to advocate the importance of fighting malnutrition and raise awareness amongst stakeholders and policy makers about the grave situation where currently the annual burden of wasting is estimated at 5 million children in Pakistan. Other participants at the event shared their views on the urgency to fight this silent emergency, with a shared vision that the integration of community-based management of acute malnutrition will address many of the urgent needs to combat malnutrition in the targeted districts of the programme.