Investments to end hunger can help improve economy

Published: February 15, 2018
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Use of outdated methods in agriculture are aggravating woes of farming community. PHOTO:EXPRESS

Use of outdated methods in agriculture are aggravating woes of farming community. PHOTO:EXPRESS

A major independent report endorsed today by the Government of Pakistan says that even a small shift in public spending can help end hunger and improve nutrition, and so strengthen the country’s steady economic trajectory.

The report “Strategic Review of Food Security and Nutrition in Pakistan” identifies challenges to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal 2 (SDG) ‘zero hunger’ in Pakistan and makes recommendations on how to overcome them at federal and provincial levels.

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“The report’s recommendations will be useful for Pakistan in achieving SDG 2 in the time span we have set for reducing the food insecure population to 30 per cent by 2025 and tackling malnutrition by 2030,” said Economic Affairs Division(EAD), Arif Ahmed Khan. “This is the way forward to build on the economic gains so far and help fully unleash the greatest asset of Pakistan – its people.”

The launch was attended by United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific David Kaatrud.

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Kaatrud noted that: “WFP welcomes this review as a basis for planning an effective programme of food security and nutrition support which WFP can contribute as part of Pakistan’s commitment to SDG 2”.

Pakistan has made significant progress over the past decades and brought food security and nutrition to a more prominent level since 2010.Today the agriculture sector produces more than enough to achieve self-sufficiency in the main staples. Furthermore, the Benazir Income Support Programme now reaches about one third of the impoverished population, and resources were just made available to help more than 1.5 million people graduate from poverty and leave hunger behind.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 15th, 2018.

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