Mishal Launches Smart Fellowship Program on Eliminating Hidden Hunger and Malnutrition for Journalists in Sindh.

The program on Eliminating Hidden Hunger Hunger and Malnutrition to build media’s capacity to improve accountability mechanisms for Nutrition related development and public spending.

23 May 2017 – Karachi, PK – Mishal Pakistan, the Country Partner Institute of the Global Competitiveness and Benchmarking Network of the World Economic Forum has launched a media development initiative to build the capacity of the journalists reporting on Nutrition in Sindh. The Fellowship program is focusing on enhancing media’s role to act as public watchdog on policy makers. The initiative, Eliminating Hidden Hunger is working with more than 1200 health journalists across SIndh to improve public perception, opinion and datasets on Nutrition and other related issues contributing to the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2.

Mishal is already working with the Sindh Assembly and its relevant standing committee on Health for “Smart Policy Making”. The cooperation has delivered a high level training initiative for the parliamentarians in Sindh, where the parliamentarians shared their views on the importance of media’s role to shape public policy according to people’s needs and requirements.

Dr. Sohrab Sarki, Chairman Standing Committee on Health of the Sindh Assembly said, “We see media as one of the most important players in the Smart Policy making framework, whereby media reflects the grass root realities of citizen’s needs, while making the policy makers accountable to the public for transparency and efficiency. Media is a crucial partner in knowledge creation and influencing the collective consciousness of the society. We need to bring media on board for Smart Policy making.

Amir Jahangir, Chief Executive Officer of Mishal Pakistan, said, “The current state of health in Pakistan is alarming. About 46.8 million people in Pakistan are malnourished. Through this initiative we are prioritizing development agendas by ensuring policy making through data and real time feedback through media. The program on Eliminating Hidden Hunger and Malnutrition will improve service delivery to the citizens and contribute further to improving Pakistan’s competitiveness on global footing, while improving accountability through media.”

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australian High Commission (Australian Aid) reached out to Mishal, earlier this year, to partner and launch a nationwide program to create knowledge resources on Nutrition challenges in Pakistan. The program will address the “Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), Goal No. 2 ‘Zero Hunger’”.

Nida Karim, Program Specialist Eliminating Hidden Hunger at Mishal Pakistan, said, “The program focuses on increasing the capacity of media on Sustainable Development Goal no. 2 and enhance media’s role to be more proactive on public scrutiny of the policy makers on issues related to food security, improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture practices. Through this initiative Mishal is also launching a nutrition specific information management system for the journalists and policy makers.”

The initiative will build capacity of other stakeholders for the development and implementation of a multi-sectoral and integrated strategy for awareness raising, addressing general public, institutions, organizations, private sector, decision makers, and communities working on nutrition, health, hygiene and the nexus between malnutrition and other related issues.

Mishal Pakistan, the Country Partner Institute of the Global Competitiveness and Benchmarking Network of the World Economic Forum, is closely working with the Sindh Assembly’s Standing Committee on Primary and Secondary Health. The initiative by Mishal has launched the program to improve the narrative building on Nutrition by engaging various stakeholders including press clubs, journalism associations, policy making institutes and academia across Pakistan.

Mishal is also working with the National University of Modern Languages on research projects to create new vocabulary on Nutrition related issues in the leading languages being spoken in the country. Mishal through its flagship media development program, “AGAHI Awards”, has introduced multiple new categories on Nutrition, to encourage more public debate to be brought by media on this issue.

An estimated 2 billion people — over 30 percent of the world’s population suffer from deficiencies in essential vitamins and minerals. “Hidden hunger” is how health experts often refer to micronutrient deficiencies because most people affected do not show the visible physical symptoms and hence may not be aware of their condition. Hidden Hunger’s effects can be devastating, leading to mental impairment, poor health, low productivity, and even death. Its adverse effects on child health and survival are particularly acute, especially within the first 1,000 days of a child’s life, from conception to the age of two, resulting in serious physical and cognitive consequences.

The UN Sustainable Development Goals aim to end all forms of hunger and malnutrition by 2030, making sure all people – especially children and the more vulnerable – have access to sufficient and nutritious food all year round. Zero Hunger is one of 17 Global Goals that make up the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Please visit Pakistan’s first infographic on “Eliminating Hidden Hunger” information and data at: http://eliminatinghiddenhunger.com/index.php/infographic/

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