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Govt striving to eliminate hunger, malnutrition in compliance with SDGs: minister

ISLAMABAD: Federal Secretary Ministry of Planning Development and Reform Zafar Hasan said that government is striving to eliminate hunger and all forms of malnutrition in compliance with Sustainable Development Goals, ARY News reported.

Addressing the round table conference on “The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World“, the planning secretary said that the launch of national food security policy and nutrition strategy shows the government resolve towards addressing the challenge of zero hunger in Pakistan under SDGs.

The planning secretary said that Pakistan recognizes the importance of food security and has produced surplus staple wheat and sugar, but still approximately 18% of our population is still facing challenges of food insecurity.

“Several factors like lack of awareness about healthy food and poor access due to low income and geographic barriers are the main reasons that upset the dietary system of households, as a result stunting is 42% which is one of the highest across the world, and this phenomena is not only in the rural area of Pakistan even the urban sectors are suffering from this,” said Zafar Hasan.

He said that Pakistan is the country which is contributing least towards climate change and global warming issues however we are amongst the worst sufferers and the availability and storage of water has now become one of the most critical issues in Pakistan.

Secretary Zafar Hasan said that Pakistan’s agriculture sector has already suffered due to floods in 2010 and 2011 that caused US Dollar 7.6 billion worth of damages and losses, which is a huge amount for an economy like Pakistan.

“Realizing the threat of climate change, Pakistan is one of the first signatories to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) and has decreased the value for prevalence of undernourishment from 23.3% in 2006 to 18% in 2017,” said Hasan.

He said that the billion tree forestation project was the country’s largest plantation drive which is being taken forward by launching the 10 billion tree plantation campaign in next five years.

The round table conference was attended by high officials of the Ministry, FAO representative of Pakistan Ms. Mina Dowlatchahi , and WFP representative in Pakistan Finbarr Curran who also appreciated the efforts of the Center for Rural Economy for organizing such a valuable round table conference .

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