Pakistan accounts 6.9% share of global stunting children’s burden

ISLAMABAD, Jun 09 (APP): Globally, 149.2 million children under five years of age were stunted in 2020 and Pakistan accounted for a 6.9 percent share of the global burden.

According to the Economic Survey 2021-22 launched on Thursday, the impact of poor diets and nutrition risk lock individuals and countries into long-term disadvantages.

Nutrition security healthy diets provide a foundation to support physical, cognitive, social, and productive individuals leading to a more economically productive and socially active nation.

Inadequate and unhealthy dietary practices are associated with impaired physical growth, sub-optimal cognitive development, low educational attainment, low labour productivity, reduced earning potential, compromised health, and increased risk of diseases.

Improving nutrition requires an effective and sustained multi-sectoral nutrition programme over the long term.

Nutrition interventions geared towards access to adequate, diverse, and safe food, optimal health, and a healthy environment ensuring safe water, hygiene, and sanitation services are the critical pathways to prevent malnutrition and improve the potential of the country’s most valuable asset, humans.

Pakistan’s nutrition commitments expressed in the Nutrition for Growth (N4G) Summit, 2020, signal the country’s pledge to combat malnutrition and fast actions towards achieving the WHA targets set for 2025 and SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) for 2030.

Special multi-sectoral nutrition initiatives are being taken at federal and provincial levels in multiple sectors to address malnutrition on a sustainable basis using a system reforms approach.

Food availability and consumption food availability, the foremost pillar of food security, depicts a complete picture of the country’s food supply potentially available for human consumption during a specified time period.

Pakistan produces enough food to meet its population’s food requirements, with adjustments in imports and exports.

During FY2022, the availability of major food items remained almost consistent. A slight decrease in the availability of cereals, milk, and edible oils was observed, whereas the availability of fruits and vegetables increased significantly as compared to previous years. Eggs, fish, and sugar availability almost remained constant.

The availability of per capita calories remained above the minimum calorie needs of the general population, likewise in the previous years.