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WFP assistance helped control malnutrition, stunting in Sindh: CM

KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Thursday said that the provincial government, with the assistance of World Food Programme (WFP) and other donor agencies, was working hard to resolve the issues of malnutrition and stunting.

The chief minister was speaking to delegation led by WFP Executive Director Executive Director in Pakistan David M. Beasley including Regional Director Bangkok David Kaatrud, Country Director Finbarr Curran, and Deputy Country Director Katrien Ghoos. Chairperson BISP Marvi Memon was also present on the occasion.

CM Sindh recalled that the WFP has a long history of providing humanitarian and development assistance to Sindh, working closely with concerned government departments, UN agencies and international NGOs to respond to food security emergencies and livelihoods needs.

He added that these includes emergency response activities during the massive floods of 2010, 2011 and 2012 along with livelihood recovery activities through the Food Assistance for Assets programme.

The chief minister said that as part of its new three-year of operations which began in January 2016, the WFP supports the implementation of Food Assistance for Assets (using cash or food as modalities), Nutrition (Community Management of Acute Malnutrition and Stunting Prevention), Disaster Risk Management as well as Capacity Development and Augmentation (CDA) activities in the province.

Since 2013 WFP has also been implementing nutrition sensitive interventions providing nutrition support to vulnerable communities with programmes, including the community-based Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM), Blanket Supplementary Feeding and Stunting Prevention.

Disaster Risk Management (DRM) capacity augmentation activities are also being implemented in the region. In 2015, WFP assisted 508,120 beneficiaries with $6.1 million in cash and 3670 tones food in Sindh.

Chairman Planning and Development Mohammad Waseem briefed the meeting about the programmes launched by WFP in Sindh. The includes the Scaling up Nutrition (SUN) movement for which WFP provided technical assistance to the Sindh government, established the provincial SUN Secretariat to facilitate inter-sector coordination and policy alignment, and provided human resources and operational support to the P&D Department.

Furthermore, the stunting prevention program is being implemented in Thatta and Sujawal districts which targets children in the first 1,000 days of their life.

The chief minister was congratulated for success of SUN and Stunting prevention programme which have shown remarkable progress. The malnutrition has reduced by 19.6 percent while stunting cases have been controlled by eight percent in Thatta.

Through the Community Based Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM), WFP is covering Moderately Acute Malnourished (MAM) children (6-59 months) and Severely Malnourished Pregnant and Lactating Women (through a Targeted Supplementary Feeding Programme (TSFP) in four food insecure districts, Tharparkar, UmerKot, Sanghar and Jamshoro.

From Jan-Sep 2016, cure rate for MAM children was 98.94 percent and 95.19 percent for Pregnant and Lactating Women (PLW). Around 2,153 tons food was distributed through CMAM, and 1,061 tons beneficiaries were provided with cloth bags to carry commodities which proved to be a major help in transferring commodities.

CM Sindh said that Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) has improved during natural calamities but staff members need special trainings, capacity building and other support to meet any emergency situation. WFP and Sindh government agreed to work together for capacity building and other necessary support to PDMA.

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