The Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) government has appreciated the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) role in population management and stabilisation in Pakistan and its regions.
Minister for Population and Information Technology Dr Mustafa Bashir Abbasi said the government being cognisant of the global, regional and national challenges confronted to population and development sector has strong realisation that rapid population growth in Pakistan has emerged as serious challenge for policy makers.
He said coherent and collaborative efforts by all stakeholders including public sectors, development partners, INGOs and civil society organisations needed to resolve the issues related to rapid population growth.
The minister said high-level of population growth in all regions of Pakistan has hampered the socio-economic development of the country.
Nearly, one-fourth of the Pakistan’s population continues to live below the national poverty line (2015-16) with the absolute numbers of poor increasing due to population growth rates, Abbasi said.
"Poverty has a close relation with low literacy, high fertility, high childhood and maternal mortality especially among the poorest households,” he added.
The minister said approximately 60 per cent of the country’s population are facing food insecurity and nearly 50 per cent of the women and children are malnourished.
He said many Pakistani children are facing with long term nutritional deprivation, poor health services, illnesses linked to hygiene, and inadequate infant feeding practices.
Secretary Population Welfare Department AJK, Raja Muhammad Razzaque said the UNFPA delegation headed by Lina Mousa, who is representative of Pakistan will undertake a three-day visit to AJK from Monday (today) during which she will visit population and health related facilities.
The UNFPA delegation will also call on the AJK president, prime minister and other officials.
Linda will also attend the first meeting of AJK Task Force on Population which is also scheduled to be held under the chairmanship of PM Raja Farooq Haider.
The delegation visit to AJK is of utmost importance in terms of the agency’s support and future collaboration in the area of family planning and reproductive health services, the official added.
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