Nutrition Centre will be established in a leading University: Ahsan Iqbal

Islamabad, May 15, 2015 (PPI-OT): “Despite the devolution of health sector to provinces, the Federal Government is making consecrated efforts to uplift the social sector by ensuring food security and eradicating poverty and malnutrition in the country”, said the Federal Minister for Planning and Development Prof. Ahsan Iqbal while addressing the workshop on establishment of academia and research network under Scaling Up Nutrition Movement today.

He announced that the Nutrition Center of international standard will be established in a leading university this year. HEC will be taken on board in this direction with further directives to come up with a plan as to how the problem of malnutrition can be tackled at the level of academia through research and action.

“A new initiative will be launched by the Federal Government in the next financial year to mitigate the monster of malnutrition in federally administered areas including Islamabad, FATA and GB. The Federal Government should be a role model for all the federating units in addressing health related problems including malnutrition”, he added.

He said, “43% of our children are affected by malnutrition thereby compromising their physical learning and innovative capabilities. The Federal Government cannot tackle malnutrition alone. The all-encompassing approach between provinces and Federation is the need of an hour along with co-ordination of private sector, academia, civil society etc to ensure inclusive development. We are trying to integrate the programs relating to poverty reduction, rural support and all those projects falling under the scope of millennium development goals which are currently scattered at federal and provincial levels”.

Acknowledging poverty as a trigger to malnutrition, he said, “Vision 2025 encapsulates Social Protection Policy which is aimed at reducing poverty, creating employment opportunities and strengthening marginalized people’s capabilities to mitigate their risk and vulnerability”. Pakistan joined UN scaling up nutrition (SUN) movement in 2013 to combat malnutrition on the principle that all people have a right to food and good nutrition.

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