French contribution enables WFP to respond to the nutrition crisis in Pakistan
ISLAMABAD – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) welcomes a contribution of EUR 3.5 million from the Government of France in support of the ongoing flood response in Pakistan, specifically targeting women and children facing life-threatening malnutrition.
The funding will play a vital role in enabling WFP to provide life-saving assistance to thousands of children under-five as well as pregnant and breastfeeding women and girls suffering from acute malnutrition with lifesaving support in Sindh and Balochistan.
Although floodwaters have receded in most parts of Pakistan following last year’s unprecedented floods, the country now faces a new deadly threat. Against the backdrop of high inflation, especially soaring food prices, millions of people are struggling to afford and access nutritious food. This dire situation has led to an increase in cases of severe acute malnutrition among women and children in the districts worst affected by the floods.
“The French Government’s support to WFP reflects another step in France’s solidarity towards the people of Pakistan and particularly the vulnerable communities in Sindh and Balochistan that were most impacted by the 2022 floods”, said Nicolas Galey, Ambassador of France to Pakistan, in a meeting with WFP on 8 June. “This timely contribution will support ongoing efforts to improve food security and to bolster community resilience, with a focus on the nutrition of women and girls, and children under five”, he added.
According to a rapid survey* conducted across 15 flood-affected districts in Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, nearly one-third of children between 6-23 months of age are suffering from moderate acute malnutrition, while 14 percent are affected by severe acute malnutrition.
“WFP is deeply concerned about the looming nutrition crisis in Pakistan. The increase in cases of severe acute malnutrition among women and children is particularly heart-breaking.WFP remains committed to addressing the situation with utmost urgency. The funding provided by the Government of France will help us reach some of the most vulnerable communities and provide them with life-saving assistance, for that we are extremely grateful,” said Chris Kaye, Country Director of WFP.
The EUR 3.5 million contribution is part of a series significant contributions from the Government of France, demonstrating their commitment to eradicating malnutrition and supporting Pakistan’s flood recovery efforts. In 2022, France contributed EUR 1 million to the Integrated Nutrition-Safety Net Project for flood-affected pregnant and breastfeeding women in Sindh. Additionally, last year, France provided EUR 2 million in support of WFP’s flood response activities. With a total contribution of EUR 6.5 million, France’s support will help WFP to provide a lifeline for hundreds of thousands of Pakistanis whose lives and livelihoods have been upended by last year’s devastating floods.
*Source: Rapid Mid-Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) survey by UNICEF in flood-affected areas in Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, March 2023.
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The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.
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