‘Infants in flood-hit districts suffering from acute malnutrition’

By Muhammad Saleh Zaafir
June 09, 2023

ISLAMABAD: A quick survey of 15 flood-affected districts has indicated that nearly one-third of children between 6 to 23 months old are suffering from moderate acute malnutrition, while 14 percent are affected by severe acute malnutrition. The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has received a crucial boost in its efforts to combat the nutrition crisis in Pakistan, thanks to a generous contribution of Euro 3.5 million from the Government of France. It will help WFP reach thousands of children under-five and pregnant and lactating women and girls suffering from acute malnutrition with lifesaving support in Sindh and Balochistan.


Although, floodwaters have receded in most parts of Pakistan following the last year’s unprecedented floods, the country now faces high inflation, especially soaring food prices. Millions of people are struggling to afford and access nutritious food and cases of life-threatening severe acute malnutrition are emerging among women and children in several districts worst affected by 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 Thursday. “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 heartbreaking. WFP remains committed to addressing the situation with utmost urgency.

“The Euro 3.5 million is the latest in a series of significant contributions that underscore France’s commitment to contribute to eradicating malnutrition alongside partners and supporting Pakistan’s flood recovery. France also previously contributed Euro 1 million in 2022 to the Integrated Nutrition-Safety Net Project for flood-affected pregnant and lactating women in Sindh, and Euro 2 million in support of WFP’s flood response activities last year. “The total contribution of Euro 6.5 million 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.”