SAPM Malik Amin Aslam says enhanced awareness, evidence-based policy action must for tackling hunger govt. taking efforts to boost food security, fight hunger: SAPM Malik Amin Aslam

English Official News Press Information Department

Islamabad, October 16, 2020 (PPI-OT):Promoting awareness and boosting evidence-based policy actions for those who suffer from hunger and for the need to ensure healthy diets for everyone is vital to tackling global challenges of hunger and mal-nutrition, Malik Amin Aslam, special assistant to prime minister on climate change, said in a press statement issued here, marking World Food Day. “In our world of abundance, one person in nine does not have enough to eat for various reasons and many sleep without having adequate food for normal healthy living,” he highlighted quoting from United Nations’ global studies on food security.

Malik Amin Aslam remarked that however with this year’s theme, “grow, nourish, sustain. Together. our actions are our future.”, the world community need to launch information campaigns globally to amplify one message: achieving zero hunger by 2030 is possible, provided we “join forces” for global action against global hunger. The World Food Day is an international day celebrated every year on October 16 by United Nations member countries. This year’s #WorldFoodDay highlights an idea of looking towards the future the world need to build together where hunger is eliminated altogether.

The PM’s special assistant Malik Amin said that as countries continued to deal with the widespread effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, World Food Day 2020 had come an opportunity to highlight how food and agriculture are an integral part of the COVID-19 response. He stated that “the COVID-19 crisis has been a time to ponder over things we truly treasure and our most basic needs for sustainability of our lives and the world as whole. These uncertain times of the pandemic have indeed made many of us rekindle our appreciation for a thing that some take for granted and many go to bed without it: food”. “Food is the essence of life and the bedrock of our cultures and communities.

Preserving access to safe and nutritious food is and will continue to be an essential part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly for poor and vulnerable communities, who are hit hardest by the pandemic and resulting economic shocks,” Malik Amin stressed. He, however, urged the global community enhance global cooperation and solidarity to help the most vulnerable to recover from the crisis., calling on countries to build back better by making food systems more resilient and robust so they could withstand soaring COVID-19 related volatility and fallouts of climate change, deliver healthy and sustainable diets for all, and decent livelihoods for food system workers.

In a world of today grappling with historic global health crisis of COVID-19, it is more important than before to recognise the need to motivate “our food heroes – farmers and workers” throughout the food systems – who are making sure that food makes its way from farm to fork even amid disruptions as unprecedented as the present COVID-19 crisis. Malik Amin Aslam highlighted that food waste is another challenge to the global efforts aimed at tackling hunger and malnutrition. Various studies show around 14 per cent of the food produced for human consumption is lost each year between the stages where it is grown or raised up to when it reaches the markets and at the retail food and consumer stages, said the PM’s special assistant on climate change.

“Tackling this challenge of food waste at a time when climate change is already adversely affecting food production systems is vital to global efforts for food security,” he cautioned. Malik Amin underlined, “We all have a responsibility to perform for increasing the overall demand for nutritious food by choosing healthy and not letting sustainable habits fall by the wayside and ensure that food waste at all levels is controlled.” Highlighting present government’s sensitivity towards hunger and malnutrition challenges, Malik Amin Aslam said that the incumbent government of Prime Minister Imran Khan is committed to addressing the challenges through introduction climate-resilient seeds, efficient farming methods and by encouraging farmers to grow foods adequately, stave off food waste at all levels and ensuring that it is available to all for healthy living as a part of the government’s zero hunger policy.

While all stakeholders involved in food production and distribution systems was needed to play their role in fighting growing hunger, malnutrition in Pakistan, the incumbent government continue to support such roles for achieving Zero Hunger in Pakistan. He elaborated that the first national food security policy and the water policy, which are being implemented under the support of Prime Minister Imran Khan, provide the frameworks for action, putting emphasis on agriculture diversification and value addition, resilient climate smart agriculture and water management, improved livelihoods of small holder farmers and tenants, safe drinking water and a National Zero Hunger Programme.

He also highlighted that efforts have been also taken to launch climate smart agriculture initiative in Pakistan’s eight district, five in the country’s north and three in southern parts to help the people who manage agricultural systems respond effectively to adverse impacts of climate change. Launching of the climate smart agriculture initiative basically aims to pursue three major goals, namely: sustainably increasing productivity and incomes, adapting to climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the agriculture sector where possible, Malik Amin Aslam explained.

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