PM directs urgent arrangement of baby food for flood-stricken children

NEW YORK, Sep 20 (APP): Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday directed the authorities concerned to make urgent coordinated efforts to ensure supply of baby food to the flood-hit areas to avert malnutrition among the suffering children.

The prime minister, who chaired a virtual meeting on the flood situation in Pakistan, while being in New York during his US visit, assigned the cabinet members to reach out to the food manufacturers to provide the required supply of baby food.

He instructed the NDMA to also place an order for the baby food besides the one being arranged voluntarily to ensure that the children in the flood-hit areas were not malnourished.

The prime minister was told that the children, already facing malnutrition in the affected, had now been deprived of even one-time meal due to the devastating flood, creating an urgency for the baby food supply.

The prime minister asked cabinet members Ahsan Iqbal and Khawaja Saad Rafiq to talk to the food manufacturers as well as the provincial governments including Punjab and KP to extend their assistance to help the government overcome the challenge.

The prime minister also directed the Benazir Income Support Program to ensure complete the disbursement of the remaining Rs45 billion of cash relief assistance among the entitled families within 10 days.

He also asked for the provision of tents to internally displaced families to provide them temporary shelter.

The meeting was told that the tents were being arranged and would be distributed with a 70/30 ratio to Sindh and Balochistan provinces respectively.

The prime minister appreciated the improvement in the railway infrastructure and said that while being at SCO, Chinese President Xi Jinping had taken up with M-1 railway project with him, and asked the railway minister for swift work on the project.

He told the meeting that a task force had been formed to exclusively deal with the matters pertaining to the Chinese projects.

The prime minister also asked the relevant authorities to provide him an assessment of malnutrition so that he could raise the issue in his address at the UN General Assembly address on September 23 to sensitize the world.

While discussing the situation of medicine supply in flood-affected areas, the prime minister warned for strict action against the hoarders of the medicine direly needed for the suffering humanity.

He also assured the drug manufacturing companies to resolve their taxation issues to enable them provide the required supply of medicines like Panadol and others.

“I want results… We are ready to resolve tax issues… We are here to serve the suffering humanity through practical steps,” he remarked.

Prime Minister Shehbaz, who would also chair a similar meeting on Wednesday, asked the food security minister to apprise him of the need of wheat seeds for the flood-affected areas.