MUZAFFARABAD: The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) on Monday formally launched its community-based management of acute malnutrition programme in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) in partnership with King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSRelief).

The programme which is aimed at preventing malnutrition in children under five years of age and pregnant and lactating women would be implemented in 14 vulnerable districts of Azad Kashmir and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The launching ceremony was held in Muzaffarabad, with SaudiArabia’s Deputy Head of Mission in Pakistan Mohammad Kalaf Al-Enzi, AJK minister for finance Abdul Majid Khan, minister for health Nisar Ansar Abdali, KSRelief director Dr Khalid M Al-Othmani, WFP’s deputy country director Rathi PalaKrishnan, representatives of the KP and AJK governments and others among the attendees.

Highlighting the importance of fighting under-nutrition, Ms PalaKrishnan stressed that the issue should top the agenda of all governments.

She said Pakistan had an extraordinarily high and persistent level of child under-nutrition whichincreased morbidity and mortality, impacted physical and cognitive growth, diminished learning capacity and school performance and led to lower adult productivity.

The event was told that through this project as many as 30,444 malnourished children and 27,056 pregnant and lactating womenwould be supported.

Speaking on the occasion, the Saudi envoy said the people of his country would always stand by the people of Pakistan to fight against malnutrition in children and PLWs.

Speaking on behalf of AJK Prime Minister Sardar Tanveer Ilyas who could not make it to the event due to budget-related meetings in Islamabad, finance minister Khan expressed gratitude to both the KSRelief and WFP for their concern and support.

Published in Dawn, June 21st, 2022

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