KARACHI: The Planning and Development Department of the Government of Sindh and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) have launched a Secretariat for the Scaling-Up Nutrition (SUN) initiative in Karachi.
The SUN movement brings together people governments, civil society, the United Nations, donors, businesses and researchers in a collective effort to improve nutrition. The Government of Pakistan joined the SUN movement in January 2013 and agreed to establish SUN Secre
tariats at national and provincial levels. With today’s launch, the Sindh provincial SUN Secretariat will enable the provincial government to plan to scale up nutrition optimally through multi-sectoral and stakeholder coordination.
Speaking at the SUN Secretariat launch ceremony, the honorable Minister for Planning and Development Department, Mr Mir Khan Bijrani said: “SUN is a unique movement, presently having 57 member countries across the globe, founded in 2010 on the principle that ‘all people have a right to food and good nutrition’. Under this platform, active participation and support of the UN agencies, civil society, business, academia and donor networks, across multiple sectors, including health, agriculture, planning and education sectors at all levels work together with a focus on a collective effort to improve nutrition,”
“Tackling malnutrition, especially for mothers and children, is one of the greatest challenges facing Pakistan today. It can be done – but only if we all combine our efforts, pull together, work in partnership and prioritize,” said Mr Stephen Gluning, WFP acting Country Director. “In a province like Sindh, where two out of three families can’t afford a nutritious diet, we need to look for solutions at a local level. The SUN secretariat in Karachi is a key step in this direction.”
In Pakistan, two out of every five (44 percent) children are stunted, meaning they are short for their age due to chronic malnutrition, a condition that has lifelong conse
quences on physical and mental development.
The 2011 National Nutrition Survey showed that half of children under 5 years of age in Sindh are stunted, 40 percent are underweight, and 73 percent of children under age of five are anaemic.
In the context of the UN Agenda 2030 and the global targets known as the Sustainable Development Goals, WFP Pakistan is committed to supporting the Government of Pakistan at the federal and provincial levels in addressing its food security and nutrition needs. WFP has provided staff, technical support and funding to help set up the SUN Secretariat in Sindh.