ISLAMABAD, October 5 2018 – Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) has decided to implement the five-year Food Fortification Programme (FFP) of UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) in the metropolis. In this regard, the Karachi Mayor Waseem Akhtar on Wednesday convened a meeting with KMC officials and asked them to come up with a strategy as how to implement the food fortification programme with a vision to tackle the malnutrition and to enhance food standardization in the port city.
The FFP aims to improve the production, access and consumption of wheat flour fortified with iron, folic acid, vitamin B12 and zinc, and edible oil and ghee fortified with vitamins A and D.
Waseem said the city council in its next meeting, would adopt a resolution regarding addition of micronutrients in food items. He said KMC’s food laboratory will be properly functional to have a check on food quality being served among patients in its 13 hospitals.
Reports suggest that over 37 million Pakistanis are not getting enough food and this hits women and girls hardest.
Earlier in morning, the Metropolitan Commissioner Dr Saif ur Rehman convened a meeting with the FFP team on the same issue. The Food Fortification Programme leader Stuart King, Technical Director Dr Tausif Akhtar Janjua, and FFP’s Advocacy and Communications Manager Laila Rubab Jaskani also attended the meeting.
The FFP’s team on this occasion said vitamins, minerals and iron are important for an individual to lead a healthy life, and they urged KMC officials to kick off an awareness campaign to sensitize the citizens on the importance of nutrition.
It was also decided in the meeting that the wheat flour mills, and edible oil and ghee producing companies must be bound to add micronutrients in their products to improve the food quality. The fortification of wheat flour with iron and folic acid and edible oil with vitamin A and D would help in reducing the hidden hunger in our population.
Metropolitan Commissioner said he will also request the Sindh Government to ask the oil and flour mills owners for the implementation of nutrition programme.
The UK government has funded the FFP to improve nutrition in Pakistan and the programme has already been launched in Punjab and KP. This includes the fortification of wheat flour and edible oil and ghee across Pakistan starting in Punjab.
The National Nutrition Survey of Pakistan 2011 has found that a majority of children and women in reproductive age suffered from multiple micronutrient deficiencies.