PESHAWAR – A two-day workshop started on Wednesday here to finalise a strategy to combat malnutrition in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Fata.

Besides representatives of almost all government departments particularly health, education, food and agriculture departments from Fata and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, country representatives of over 20 multi donor organisations like WHO, UNICEF and WFO are participating in the workshop.

Additional Chief Secretary, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Ataullah Khan was the chief guest at the opening ceremony. In his opening remarks, the Additional Chief Secretary expressed the hope that the workshop will help develop deeper engagements and better understanding of stakeholders to reach an agreement on specific roles to link policies and strategy development for implementation of a provincial integrated nutrition strategy. The ACS said that it was very disturbing that 48 per cent of children in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were under-weight because of suffering malnutrition both by the mother and child for a long time.

The wasting rate, the ACS said was also 17 per cent in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. However, the province has shown remarkable improvement in the rate of under-weight children which has been reduced to 24 per cent in 2011 from 35 per cent in 2001 but reducing it further a still a challenge for both the people and the government.

On this occasion, representatives from World Food Program, World Health Organization, UNICEF, Director General of Health Services Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and a number of experts of international repute delivered their papers on various aspects of malnutrition in the province and Fata, the experiences of different countries for combating it. The speakers were of the view that combating malnutrition demand multi sectoral strategy as well as reduction of poverty therefore each and every department of the provincial government will have to work for eradication malnutrition both from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Fata.