Islamabad : Federal Minister for Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Shazia Marri on Wednesday said the government was making efforts in collaboration with stakeholders to create public awareness and formulate the best possible policies to fulfil the nutritional needs of schoolchildren for their better health and development.
She was addressing the two-day ‘National Consultation Dialogue on School Meals’, which was arranged here by the World Food Programme (WFP) in collaboration with the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP).
The event was held to create awareness of the importance of nutritious meals for school going children and provide a way forward for the preparation and implementation of policies for school meal programmes at government and private educational institutes at all levels.
The minister advocated better collaborations between public and private sectors for the development of the vulnerable segments of society and said the government would utilise all available resources for the purpose.
She appreciated the efforts of WFP for the cause of developing nutritious food programmes and said such initiatives were crucial for the better health and development of children.
The minister said with a healthy mind and body, the children would be able to perform well in their studies and extra co-curricular activities.
"We should understand the basic nutritional needs of our children," she said.
The minister said the WFP deserved praise for its dedication to the cause of the development of the people, especially children, in conflict zones.
She said the people of Pakistan were resilient and faced many challenges bravely but never gave up.
The minister welcomed the public-private partnerships for the development and emphasised better coordination of federal and provincial governments in order to achieve the UN Goals.
She thanked all stakeholders and representatives of various UN agencies, health departments, Planning Commission, civil society and academia for their support to the Benazir Income Support Programme for the execution of its plans.
The minister said the BISP was willing to work with all the stakeholders in future for providing better health facilities to the children of Pakistan.