By Ali Imran
ISLAMABAD: The governments of Pakistan and the United States, through the USAID are delivering 340 metric tons of vitamin and mineral-enriched food for Pakistani children who are suffering from severe acute malnutrition, USâ€™s embassy said here on Thursday.
According to the National Nutrition Survey jointly published by the Government of Pakistan and the United Nations Childrenâ€™s Fund (UNICEF) in 2018, more than 40 percent of Pakistani children under the age of five suffer long-term health problems because of severe malnutrition. Most of these malnourished children live in Pakistan’s rural areas.
â€œWe commend the Government of Pakistanâ€™s efforts to include improved nutrition at the core of its development agenda,â€ USAID/Pakistan Mission Director Julie Koenen, said adding they are proud to contribute to maintaining the availably of nutritious food to Pakistani children in need despite the operational challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Good nutrition is key to the health and development of young Pakistanis, and a healthy population is critical to Pakistanâ€™s overall economic growth.â€ This collaboration also helps support Pakistanâ€™s national nutrition policy framework and increases the capacity of the health system and civil society to ensure treatment of more than 24,500 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition.
The fortified food project is being implemented by UNICEF in partnership with the Government of Pakistanâ€™s nutrition and health departments and civil society organizations.
As part of its long-standing partnership with Pakistan, the United States Government is committed to improving food and nutrition security for Pakistanis. Since 2009, USAID has contributed more than $800 million to Pakistanâ€™s food and nutrition efforts.