A high-level delegation Tuesday led by World Food Programme Country Director in Pakistan Lola Castro met Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif.
The World Food Programme and the Punjab government agreed to cooperate in food security, meeting of nutritional needs, elimination of hunger, training to cope with natural calamities and provision of technical assistance in the construction of modern silos for the protection of wheat reserves.
Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister said the Punjab government and World Food Programme are working on different projects. However, he said cooperation of World Food Programme with Punjab government in future programmes will be fully welcomed. He said healthy diet is of vital importance for the good health of women and children and Punjab government is running a pilot project in South Punjab under school feeding system.
Sharif said World Food Programme can provide cooperation in extending the scope of this project. He said that children can also be saved from diseases with the provision of better diet. He said that cooperation of World Food Programme in the effective implementation of training programmes in schools to cope with natural calamities will be welcomed.
The chief minister said that under School Safety Programme, the scope of this programme can be expanded and training provided to teachers and students to deal with natural calamities. He said World Food Programme has evolved comprehensive recommendations with regard to food security, elimination of hunger, better nutrition and construction of silos. He issued instructions for setting up a committee headed by the chief secretary with regard to implementation of the recommendations of World Food Programme.
Sharif said the Punjab government is striving for increasing per acre yield which will not only help in ensuring better return to the cultivators but attaining of food security as well. He said the Punjab government will work with World Food Programme in future for the construction of modern silos for the protection of wheat reserves. The chief minister said the Punjab government wants to increase collaboration with World Food Programme and it can provide technical assistance to the provincial government in the storage of food, capacity-building of institutions, resource management, provision of hybrid seeds and other nutritional matters. He said that construction of modern silos will help in protection of wheat reserves as well as minimising the losses. He directed that the departments concerned should maintain a close contact with World Food Programme.
Sharif said that there is a need of taking effective measures for achieving food security and conservation of wheat reserves. He said that setting up of grain stock exchange in future should also be considered. Representatives of World Food Programme assured that technical assistance will be provided for food security, construction of silos, nutrition and other issues. Provincial Ministers Bilal Yasin, Dr. Farrukh Javed, Ayesha Ghaus Pasha, Chief Secretary Khizar Hayat Gondal and officials concerned were present on the occasion.