Rahim Yar Khan
Minister of State and Chairperson BISP Marvi Memon has said BISP is taking lead in war against stunting as this research would provide a scalable sustainable model for integrating nutrition specific and sensitive approaches to BISP. The minister said while speaking to the officials of World Food Programme (WFP), Punjab Health Department, BISP beneficiaries and Agha Khan University at Rahim Yar Khan, said a press release issued here on Saturday.
During her visit she was briefed on research on the effectiveness of a nutrition programme involving Specialized Nutritious Foods (SNF), Cash Based Transfers and Behavior Change Communication (BCC) to prevent stunting among children in district Rahim Yar Khan being carried out by World Food Programme( WFP) in collaboration with BISP, Integrated Reproductive Mother Neonatal Child Health (IRMNCH) Programme Punjab and Agha Khan University. The research which will be concluded in 2019 would be showcased to the world for best practices and is thus the focus of much international attention.
This research is being done under the Letter of Understanding (LOU) signed between WFP, BISP and Punjab Health Department to build evidence base of different nutrition sensitive mechanisms that can contribute to the reduction of chronic malnutrition amongst under 2 years of age children in Pakistan. The study is being conducted within BISP beneficiaries having pregnant and lactating women and 6-23 months old children in BISP households. The Chairperson BISP stated that food insecurity is matter of high concern as 44% of children in Pakistan, 39% in Punjab and 42% in Rahim Yar Khan less than 5 years of age are stunted. This alarming situation needs to be tackled at the earliest. She added that BISP is taking lead in war against stunting as this research would provide a scalable sustainable model for integrating nutrition specific and sensitive approaches to BISP, the premier national social safety net of the country, thus furthering the gains in curbing malnutrition.
The Chairperson added that as these children belong to the poorest segment of society being facilitated by BISP through its Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT), BISP’s role is pivotal in this fight against malnutrition. She said that financial assistance through BISP is effectively helping the downtrodden in meeting their basic needs particularly food and health.—APP