The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) signed an agreement to develop the first national State of Food Security and Nutrition in Pakistan (SOFI) report. This will be the first national level SOFI report prepared along the lines of FAO’s annual flagship report on global and regional level.
The report will provide timely and accurate data that will enable the government to make informed and evidence based decisions by monitoring food supply, demand and other key indicators for assessing the overall food security situation.
Thanking the SDC for its support, FAO Representative in Pakistan Ms Mina` Dowlatchahi said the strategic partnership between FAO and SDC will strengthen national capacities for managing and utilizing food security related information.
She added that the national SOFI report is in line with government of Pakistan’s development agenda and will support decision and policy makers in designing their efforts to reduce poverty and improve food security and nutrition in Pakistan.
Mr Daniel Valenghi, Head of Cooperation SDC stressed on the importance of implementation of effective policies to improve food security in Pakistan.
Agriculture contributes 19.8% of Pakistan’s GDP and employs 42% of the workforce. However, the countries growing population and adverse climatic conditions place increasing pressure on national food production. 20.5% of the population is undernourished.
This is driven by high poverty rates, and rising food prices. Poor physical infrastructure, particularly in the remote rural areas throughout Pakistan is also a limitation on access to food and influences market prices.
This is also linked to inadequate water and sanitation, education and health service delivery, which together with the lack of awareness of appropriate dietary intake contributes to greater food insecurity and malnutrition.
FAO, in collaboration with WFP, UNICEF, WHO and the Ministry of National Food Security and Research, Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform and Pakistan Bureau of Statistics will support the preparation of this analysis and publication, building on the work already undertaken with Pakistan Bureau of Statistics on the localization of SDG 2 indicators Prevalence of Undernourishment (PoU) and Prevalence of Moderate and Severe Food Insecurity in population based on Food Insecurity Experience Scale (FIES).
This report will provide elements to better inform investments and public finance allocations. It will support the advancement of quality data collection, analysis and dissemination as essential to evidence based decision-making and resources allocation.