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Punjab Government & UNICEF jointly hosted a Consultative Workshop on Multi-Sectoral Nutrition Strategy held at Lahore.

24 May, 2017

Punjab Planning & Development “Multi-Sectoral Nutrition Center” (MSNC) in collaboration with United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) Pakistan hosted a prioritization workshop for the Multi-Sectoral Nutrition Strategy at Lahore.

More than 70 participants took part in the workshop, including representatives from all relevant sectors of the Punjab government (Health, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Food, Social Protection, Population, Agriculture, Labour, Women Development and Education etc.), non-governmental organizations, Community Support Organizations (CSOs) and development partners.

The aim of workshop was to prioritize the interventions under the Multi-Sectoral Nutrition Strategy (MSNS), to incorporate the missing sectors of the Punjab government, to set targets for the existing sectors and to highlight nutrition specific and sensitive activities.

The National Nutrition Survey, conducted in 2011, revealed that approximately 34 percent of Punjab’s children under five are underweight, 42 percent are stunted and 13 percent suffer from wasting. Based on these dismal findings, the Punjab Multi-Sectoral Nutrition Strategy was developed in 2015, to improve food security indictors, to address chronic malnutrition by increasing awareness and to provide an equitable access to safe and nutritious food including water.

At the workshop, Dr. Shabana Haider, Member (Health, Nutrition and Population), Planning and Development Board, Punjab stressed that one in three children are stunted in Punjab Province and that the provincial government remains committed towards improving this situation. “If tomorrow’s children are stunted, we will have a stunted generation,” she said. “The Punjab government has put in resources, to improve the situation of nutrition in the province.”

Provincial Head UNICEF, Dr. Tahir Manzoor highlighted that on how MSNS was formulated in 2015, after receiving inputs from a number of governmental departments, while discussing the current revision of the document. “A Multi Sectoral Nutrition Centre has been setup at the Planning and Development Department, Government of the Punjab, which is a major achievement of the Multi-Sectoral Nutrition Strategy.”

During the workshop, a group activity was also organized to set the scope of work and targets of the sectors with regards to nutrition, so that the stakeholders could reach an understanding of the future course of direction.