Our Correspondent Faisalabad
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation and Social Protection, Dr Sania Nishtar Sunday inaugurated the Pak Korea Nutrition Center (PKNC) at the University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF).
Dr Sania was invited as a chief guest to join the launching ceremony of the center, said a news release.
Established under the Ehsaas framework (Policy #59), the national nutrition center, ‘PKNC’ is the first of its kind, meant to address the malnutrition issue that has hit more than 50 percent of the population. Dr Sania also thanked the government of Korea for their collaboration.
At the university, Dr Sania was warmly welcomed by the Vice Chancellor of UAF, Professor Dr Iqrar Ahmed Khan; Professor Dr Masood Sadiq Butt, Dean Faculty of Food, Nutrition and Home Sciences; Professor Dr Tahir Zahoor, DG National Institute of Food Sciences and Technology; and other faculty members Principally aimed at improving child and community nutrition, PKNC has been established at the Faculty of Food Nutrition and Home Sciences with the total funding of Rs 1.5 Billion for a period of over three yeaRs Collective funding comprises Rs 1.15 Billion from Korea International Cooperation Agency’s (KOICA) and the remaining funds from HEC/PSDP.
The project will train government officials, nutrition policy makers and 35 master trainers The master trainers, in turn, will train over 12,000 nutrition educational experts, lady health workers, nutritionists and primary school teachers etc to improve nutrition and child nutrition.
PKNC will comprise six research chairs including nutrition and public health; food fortification; food processing; product development and value addition; database and componential analysis; and policy and advocacy.
Addressing the launching ceremony, Dr Sania said, ‘I am particularly keen on exploring the feasibility of developing a school meals programme under the Ehsaas framework in collaboration with University of Agriculture Faisalabad. PKNC will guide the policy direction to address the issue of malnutrition in the country.’
Adding further, she said, ‘Tackling malnutrition is embedded in the Ehsaas strategy post- COVID-19.
Ehsaas aims to promote equalities, which amongst other things centers on human capital development, of which a healthy diet is a core component.’
During a presentation, Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Iqrar Ahmed Khan and his colleagues presented the technical modalities of potential school meals programme in detail.
Dr Sania continued that the government has also institutionalized the inter-ministerial nutrition task force, headed by the Prime Minister and there are eight cabinet ministers sitting on the task force.