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Pakistan : WORLD BANK approves $48M to help PAKISTAN boost nutritional status of children

September 2, 2014

The World Bank has agreed to provide $47.95 million to help the Pakistani government boost nutritional status of children less than two years of age along with pregnant and lactating women in target areas.

"Enhanced Nutrition for Mothers and Children" will especially be aimed at women and the relatively high proportion of stunting that takes placeduring pregnancy.

It will back scaling-up of well proven maternal nutrition interventions for females of child-bearing age and sharpening the nutrition focus of ante-natal visits and offering of daily Iron Folic Acid supplementation during pregnancy.

All the provinces in the country are facing issues due to malnutrition.

World Bank Country Director for Pakistan, Rachid Benmessaoud, said : "The nutritional status of children under five years is worse than the national average in Sindh and Balochistan. The project interventions will help the governments of Sindh and Balochistan to focus on building capacity within the provincial departments of health for delivery of nutrition services to address chronic malnutrition."

Dr Inam-ul-Haq, Programme Leader for Social Inclusion, added : "Chronic malnutrition (i.e. stunting) in Pakistan manifests itself during the first thousand days, i.e. it starts during pregnancy and continues throughout the first two years of life. There is strong evidence showing that the first 1000 days are most critical for addressing malnutrition because this is the segment of the life cycle when most of the damage to physical growth, brain development, and human capital formation occurs due to inadequate nutrition, and most of these losses are irreversible".

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Source: TendersInfo (India)

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