Nutritional problems bigger challenge than terrorism: Ahsan Iqbal

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ISLAMABAD, Aug 2 (APP): Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms, Professor Ahsan Iqbal on Tuesday said that the nutritional and health conditions in Pakistan had reached alarming level and it was now become even a bigger challenge than the terrorism.

“The number of people dying of bad health and polluted water is far bigger than that of killed in terrorism”, Ahsan Iqbal said while addressing a launching ceremony of united for healthier kids movement here.

The movement was launched by Nestle Pakistan in collaboration with Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms, Lahore Grammar School, Jang Media Group, Geo Network, Service Sales Corporation, Silver Oaks School and Parwaan.

Ahsan Iqbal said a healthy nation was pivotal to economic and social development, which was one of the major pillars in the Vision 2025 plan, and the government’s collaboration with the united for healthier kids movement was a step in the same direction.

“Our government is committed to realizing Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which seeks collaboration between government and private sectors”, he said adding the government’s partnership was in the spirit of synergizing resources of public and private sectors for a healthier Pakistan.

Bruno Olierhoek, Managing Director Nestle Pakistan added, “We strongly believe that the health challenges our children face cannot be tackled by a single organization or entity but only through a multi-stakeholder approach.

“We are grateful to the ministry of Planning as well as our other partners for coming on board with this movement and giving us their valuable support”, he said adding “We are committed to making Pakistan a healthier society by utilizing all the resources at hand”.

Later, in the panel discussion, the panelists said that the movement aimed to help parents establish healthier eating, drinking and lifestyle habits in children through game-changing education and fun ideas to inspire action and influence behavior.

They informed that currently, Pakistan had the third highest number of children suffering from stunned growth; 43.7 per cent of the total children under the age of five suffer from it, 15.1 per cent are wasted and 31.5 per cent are found to be underweight.