APP: Australian Govt for eradication of malnutrition from Pakistan
ISLAMABAD, Aug 11 (APP): Australian Government with the collaboration of `Mishal’ Pakistan intends to deliver a series of workshops under the name of “Hidden Hunger” across Pakistan to build the capacity of more than 100 journalists to raise awareness about the country’s malnutrition problems.
Acting Australian High Commissioner, Jurek Juszczyk, who attended closing ceremony of the Islamabad workshop Friday, said the role of media in creating awareness of malnutrition in Pakistan was critical.
“Media can advocate for concrete measures and create a clear vision for Pakistan free from malnutrition.” Mr Juszczyk said.
He said that Pakistan was facing a malnutrition crisis with 44 per cent of the population stunted, in economic terms malnutrition costs Pakistan more than three per cent of its GDP annually, which, equates to USD7 6 billion.
“Australia is a lead donor in improving nutrition outcomes in Pakistan and is investing 39 million AUD in the World Bank’s Multi Donor Trust Fund for Nutrition which supports the Baluchistan KPK governments to scale- up and sustains an effective response to malnutrition,” he added.
Speaking on the occasion, Professor and Chairman Department media and Communications Studies, International Islamic University, Dr. Zafar Iqbal said that 50% Pakistani Children under the age of 2 years suffer from malnutrition.
He said that this syndrome not only halt the growth of mind but also stop the body from growing. “Media can play the most significant role in creating the awareness about the malnutrition that can damage our coming generations,” he added.
The Eliminating “Hidden Hunger” workshops are designed to better equip media personnel and journalists to report on Pakistan’s malnutrition crisis. Workshops have already been held in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, Punjab and Sindh.
Besides journalists, more than 60 parliamentarians and members of the federal and provincial standing committees on food Security, Health and Agriculture attended the workshops. Talking to APP, Nida Karim, Program Specialist Eliminating Hidden Hunger at `Mishal’ said today’s workshop focused on strengthening the delivery platforms for a
better and fact-based coverage of malnutrition statistics in the media in Pakistan.
“We hope it proves to be beneficial and attendees can play a significant role in spreading the message across the board,” she added. The team from Nestle Pakistan also briefed the journalists on the role , industry could play in helping overcome hidden hunger. Nestle Pakistan is committed to addressing key nutrition challenges being faced by our children in Pakistan including malnutrition, stunting anemia, iron deficiency and obesity.