NA: (NA Speaker stresses for parliamentary initiatives to address gravity of malnutrition)

ISLAMABAD: National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq has stressed the urgency for strong parliamentary initiatives to address the gravity of malnutrition in the country.

He said among other causes, early marriage of malnourished girls was also the reason for the spread of this menace. He expressed these views while addressing the inauguration ceremony of the National Parliamentary meeting on Malnutrition organized by the Task Force on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) held in Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Services (PIPS), here on Wednesday.

Highlighting the factors contributing towards malnutrition, Ayaz Sadiq said that most of the factors were inter-related and inter-dependent including poverty, food insecurity, illiteracy, poor hygiene and sanitation along with inadequate nutritional knowledge of mother and under-recognized role of nutrition in the country.

He stressed upon the need of a multi-pronged strategy on national and provincial level and called for a vigilant role of the National and Provincial SDG task forces in this regard. He said that National Assembly would provide its complete support and would also share its experiences with the provinces to assist in achieving composite Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Sardar Ayaz Sadiq underlined the imperative of a national policy based on consensus and coherence of all the stake holders to tackle the challenge of malnutrition. He said “by adopting the Post-2015 Development Agenda, we, as the global community, had committed ourselves to a shared vision of inclusive growth and development by ensuring that ‘no one is left behind’“.

He further said that it’s very encouraging to see diverse stakeholders participating in today’s meeting including representatives from Parliament, government machinery, and experts from development sector, civil society and media working together in the right direction.

Appreciating the role of the women parliamentarians, the Speaker said that female legislators have exhibited firm commitment and dedication towards legislation in social and development sectors. He said that probably women parliamentarians can better understand the issues of mother and child as compared to male counterparts.

State Minister for National Health Services Mrs. Saira Afzal Tarar, Speaker Balochistan Assembly Ms. Rahila Hameed Khan Durrani, National Convener SDGs Taskforce Ms. Marriyum Aurangzeb, Former Chairperson Special Committee of NA on MDGS Ms. Shehnaz Wazir Ali and President Parwaan Ms. Mehnaz Aziz also spoke at the occasion.

While addressing, Ms. Marriyum Aurangzeb Chairperson of the Parliamentary Task Force elaborated on the agenda of the Conference. However, a large number of the diplomats was also present at the meeting.