Rome: From 9 to 13 November, A series of photographs from across Pakistan were  put on display at the World Food Programme (WFP) headquarters in Rome, Italy on Monday. The exhibit was inaugurated in the presence of H.E. Nadeem Riyaz, Ambassador of Pakistan to Italy, Mr. Stephen O’Brien, UN Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs, Ms. Ertharin Cousin, WFP Executive Director, alongside other dignitaries including WFP member states representatives.It will continue till the 13th of November. 

Over the past few years, Pakistan has shown an impressive example of quick recovery following recurrent natural and mandmade disasters. The catastrophic earthquake of 2005 and devastating 2010 floods caused considerable damage across the country and have been followed by smaller disasters. Pakistan not only demonstrated its resilience, but also made considerable progress towards economic development as well as peace and stability, and recorded improvements in its socio-economic indicators while simultaneously aligning itself with the global movements. The Government of Pakistan has become the signatory to the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement, signed up to the Zero Hunger Challenge and lately committed to the Sustainable Development Goal 2 to end hunger and poverty by 2030. The government’s partnership with WFP in Pakistan is critical in achieving these goals.

WFP admires the leadership of the government in improving food security and nutrition, exemplified in its Vision 2025, and appreciates the priority that it places on the provision of social and productive safety nets for the most vulnerable populations. The Benazir Income Support programme, the largest social safety net programme in Pakistan, provides monthly cash support to 5 million of the most vulnerable women.

WFP works closely with local producers from the private sector in Pakistan, and continues to invest in local research, expertise and capacity in the development and production of its local supplementary commodities, which have already been exported to other WFP operations around the world in support of life saving nutrition interventions. This allows not only to provide assistance in a more cost-efficient manner, but also contributes to stimulate national economy and employment; WFP’s investment of US$189 million in Pakistan through local procurement between 2011 and 2015 is a testament to our committment to bolster the country’s economic growth.

Having made available 519,000 metric tons, worth US$198 million, of in-kind wheat since 2013, the government has become the largest donor to WFP Pakistan, and the 11th donor to WFP operations in the world. Pakistan ranks first as host government donor to WFP worldwide. However, the partnership with WFP goes beyond the traditional host government model and does not end with the provision of in-kind support; rather it encompasses active dialogue and sharing of knowledge and expertise from the federal to the grass root level. WFP is strongly committed to further support federal and provincial ministries to develop and augment their capabilities in terms of nutrition, emergency preparedness, school feeding and food security assessments.

The photo exhibition serves to showcase this strong partnership between WFP and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and demonstrates how this collaboration has made a difference in the lives of the vulnerable people in Pakistan.