Aimed at attaining food security and reducing malnourishment in Pakistan, a National Zero Hunger Programme has been inaugurated by the Prime Minister (PM) Yousaf Raza Gilani. This was stated in a press release issued by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) on Wednesday.
The PM has also announced the establishment of National Council for Food Security comprising representatives of federal and provincial governments, private sector and civil society.
To this end, the PM chaired the concluding session of a six-day strategic national workshop on “Food Security in Pakistan: Future Challenges and Coping Strategies”.
The workshop was held to produce a set of guidelines and frameworks for the programme and formulate the operational strategy of the newly-created Ministry of National Food Security and Research.
Gilani said the programme will facilitate the efforts of federating units in fulfilling the vital goal of making Pakistan food secure. He directed to formulate a unified policy of coordination aimed at energy security, water security and food security. Quoting the surveys carried out by SDPI and World Food Programme (WFP), Gilani said that 45 districts in all provinces are extremely food insecure and this is the target group which requires immediate attention.
The challenge is to generate consistent economic surpluses for long term stability and sustainable human development that cannot be achieved without ensuring food security for all, he added.
Ministry of National Food Security and Research Secretary Shafqat Hussain Nagmi said the programme will reach out to 12 million food insecure people in one year with a cost of $1.04 billion. He said in five years, a total of 61 million people will be reached with total cost of $16 billion.
Nagmi, also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Jean-Luc Siblot, Country Representative,WFP, for collaboration on the programme.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 23rd, 2012.
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