Nutrition

Household food security and under-nutrition in Pakistan is largely an issue economic means, rather than the availability of food stuffs. Many of the poorest and vulnerable populations do not have the disposable income to access an adequate and diverse diet. Culture or lack of knowledge about healthy eating often also contributes greatly to food, waterand nutrition insecurity. The UN has significant experience in working on food and nutrition security in Pakistan, with its specialized agencies channelling financial and technical resources towards designing comprehensive strategies for agricultural development and household food security so that people, especially women and children have access to adequate food for nutritional security and well-being. Within the context of the One Programme II (2013-17), the UN is contributing towards the achievement of two overarching goals:

1. Increased household food security.

The UN adopts a holistic approach targeting both increased food production and diversification, income generation initiatives, especially for women, and the promotion of home-based food production, such as kitchen gardening. There is a focus on supporting the provincial line departments for agriculture, livestock, irrigation, forestry, wildlife and fisheries. This includes supporting the newly established Ministry of Food Security and Research, through developing capacity in areas such as food balance sheet, early warning, food monitoring as well as responding to household food and nutrition security demands in collaboration with the National Planning Commission’s Food Basket assessments.

2. Increasing nutrition security especially for vulnerable and excluded groups.

Aligning with the Pakistan Integrated Nutrition Strategy (PINS) Framework, UN interventions focus on both direct, indirect and root causes of malnutrition. This includes providing support at the strategic level focusing o policies and plans to address particularly the most vulnerable. Support is also provided to strengthening food and nutrition surveillance and addressing problems of chronic or acute under-nutrition, ensuring preparedness and responses where emergencies arise. At the same time the UN is supporting the strengthening of national emergency preparedness and response capacities. “stabilizationcentres” are helping children suffering from acute malnutrition and medical complications. UN supported school-based food and nutrition programmes, including health and hygiene education as well as school-feeding initiatives are an attempt to address root causes whilst responding to immediate needs.