“National Workshop on Building Nutrition Resilience-Incorporating Gender and Climate Change”

Stakeholders build consensus to incorporate climate change and gender in nutrition policy frameworks at National Workshop on Nutrition held by Action Against Hunger.

Women Empowerment critical to improve nutrition status in Pakistan: says Dr Nausheen Hamid

To Eradicate Hunger Sustainable Climate Change policy is the need of the hour: says Sitara Ayaz

ISLAMABAD (Dec 09, 2019): According to the details released by Action Against Hunger Media Center, a national conference to build nutrition resilience by overcoming climate change and gender challenges linked to malnutrition and hunger took place at Marriott Hotel Islamabad on Monday.

Speaking as chair on a session on Gender and Nutrition, Parliamentary Secretary National Health Services Dr Nausheed Hamid said that the food security situation due to climate change in Pakistan is making different gender groups vulnerable especially women. She said that education, literacy and other indicators of women’s empowerment are strongly related to the improved nutrition status of their children. She said that there is a need for an urgent policy response requiring coordinated action among all relevant stakeholders. She commended the efforts of Action Against Hunger (ACF) in Pakistan for using an indigenous approach to eradicate hunger in Pakistan by focusing on gender.

Addressing the climate change and nutrition session as chair, Chairperson Standing Committee on Climate Change Senate, Ms Sitara Ayaz said that Pakistan is particularly vulnerable to food insecurity due to its geopolitical position and climate risks. She highlighted the fact that Pakistan is the 8th most vulnerable country to climate change globally and how in Pakistan, temperatures are rising and extreme weather and climate events are becoming more frequent and severe. She raised the importance of stakeholder consensus and the importance of public-private to take sustainable climate change policy measures to eradicate hunger.

According to the details, the conference had two sessions’ gender and nutrition and climate change and nutrition. While addressing the session on Gender and Nutrition, Dr Baseer Achakzai, Director Nutrition Program, Ministry NHSRC highlighted the importance of incorporating adolescent needs in the nutritional framework. Chairman WPC, KP Assembly Ms Maliha Khan raised the awareness among the audience members with respect to different Maternal Health Challenge due to undernutrition faced by women. Famous Social Activist and gender expert Dr. Fauzia Baari said that if we want to move forward we have to address the

Challenges with regards to nutrition faced by different genders especially women in Pakistan. Chief of Party EU, Dr. Ayesha Aziz moderated the session on Gender and Nutrition and shared her useful insights on this occasion.

In the second session on Climate Change and Nutrition, Dr Muhammad Azeem Khan, Chairman, PARC stressed on the climate change dynamics linked with nutrition and food security. He highlighted the impact of climate change on the crops and increase in disasters impact on food security situation in Pakistan. .Member NDMA, Mr M. Idrees Mahsud, highlighted how in the recent years due to climate change Pakistan is prone to natural disasters resulting in precious loss of life and property. He highlighted the role of NDMA and how different policy interventions can improve the Pakistan capacity to improve disaster risk reduction strategy of Pakistan. Head Climate Change Research & Department Comsats Prof Dr Athar Hussain highlighted that how global warming is a significant threat as well as an opportunity for the Government of Pakistan that through the correct policy measures can help us to take the necessary measures to reduce disasters threat based on climate change. Mr. Ali Tauqeer CEO LEAD and a leading development expert moderated the session on climate change and nutrition.

Mr Christopher Golden, Regional Director Action Against Hunger welcomed the audience and highlighted the achievements of ACF in different countries of Asia including Pakistan. He highlighted the resolve of Action Against Hunger to eradicate hunger. He said that the very fact that this workshop is taking place this year in Pakistan is an affirmation that the idea of sustainable development and eradicating hunger has gained importance despite increasing the arms race and economic competition among powerful countries and the understanding is growing for powerful companies to work together to overcome poverty by taking relevant policy actions.

Country Head ACF Jennifer Ankrom Khan ACF welcomed all the guests participating in the national workshop. Speaking on this occasion she highlighted that ACF is using a multi-dimensional the approach in Pakistan by focusing on four SDGs to eradicate hunger, namely: No Hunger, Clean Water and Sanitation, Good Health and Gender Equality. She said that Pakistan remains the home of Action Against Hunger’s programmers, being its first country program in 1979. ACF initiated its work in Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and then expanded to Sindh in 2009. Alongside KP and Sindh, Action Against Hunger works with the federal authorities to support national, regional and global initiatives. She raised the value of stakeholder consensus to move forward in eradicating hunger through collective action on climate change and gender fronts while designing and implementing a food security policy.

At the end the conference ended on the conclusion that all Governments and stakeholders need to embrace this climate change transformation and incorporate climate change and gender element in nutrition policy to ensure that current and future generations can grow up with the quality of nutrition necessary to live a healthy, active life.

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