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Pakistan Launched New Dietary Guidelines for Better Nutrition

The Ministry of Planning and Development and Reform in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations launched the ‘Pakistan Dietary Guidelines for better Nutrition’ (PDGN)



Pakistan Quarterly Report Jun-Sep 2018

What happened this quarter? (brief synthesis of activities)

Information sharing: news, publications, vacancies

Project management

  • The second phase of NMA begun from June 2018 for 3 years.

Capacity Development Program (CDP)

Field Visit to Northern Mountainous Area (Gilgit Baltistan):

The main concept of the second phase is to upscale the learnings of NMA phase 1 and broaden the spectrum of the project by more focusing on Advocacy and capacity building. Helvetas Pakistan also decided to upscale the learnings of the first phase and expand the area of intervention to other higher altitude areas in the HindukushKarakorum-Himalaya (HKH) region in Pakistan. Therefore, NMA II will be a national level project with more focus on advocacy and capacity building. The GB in the North of the country will be one of these areas for implementation of activity during NMA phase II. Therefore, a week-long field visit was planned to GB to explore potential partnerships with stakeholders including government departments, NGOs, academia, political leaders and private sector were carried out. Some field visits to far flung districts were also held during the visit. During the visit some resource persons were also identified for the coming ToToT who can spread the message in these far flung areas and the team also came to know about some good ideas for SUNSAI which can be replicated and scaled up. These are basically the crops of that particular region. Some bonds with Aga Khan Rural Support Program (AKRSP) and Karakuram International University (KIU) were also developed which would be fruitful in the future.





The detailed report of the visit is attached here with

CDP Call Launch

The call of ToToT was launched on18 Sep 2018 after a long sessions of discussion with Master Trainer Konrad Hauptfleisch. The Call was launched not only at MAAN but it was launched through SUNCSA Network for wider outreach. The deadline was decided to be 20 Oct 2018. One pager digital broucher was designed for the call which is attached here with 

Radio Programs

10 radio programs from July-Sep was braodcasted on various related issues of nutrition such as NSA, Breastfeeding, Climate Change, Nutrition as health problem, A mother's perspective on Nutrition (in which a community beneficiary participated) etc. The programs are braodcasted on every wednesday at 10:05-10:55 am. PST. A facebook page is also designed exclusively for these programs. the link of the prorgram is as below


Participation in other Nutrition related Advocacy programs

Partcipated in various events and workshops of relevant stakeholders in the mean time to raise NSA as an agenda point there.

  • Participated in SUN workshop on Multi Sectoral Nutrition Strategy at National level
  • Participated twice in meetings of Nutrition stakeholders facilitated by World Bank where all the partners share their updates and take recommendations from the experts
  • NMA team was invited by Australian High Commission on Food, Energy and Water Nexus where our National Coordinator Arjumand Nizami was invited as a speaker-Nutrition Expert.

    Project Management

    The team worked on the concept of ToToT (CDP) and SUNSAI with the higher management. Virtual meetings, webinars and skype meetings were conducted with relevant persons for finalizing the concept of both the ventures. 
  • Some digital brouchers were also developed for the lauch of both the calls of ToToT and SUNSAI

What activities are not on track according to the plan? (Any issues you would like to raise and get feedback)

No specific activity is pending

What are your plans for next month?

In the coming quarter we have a plan to

  • Shortlisting & Finalizing of ToToT candidates
  • Launching of Call for SUNSAI
  • Arrangement of ToToT in the first week of Dec 2018
  • Pre training webinar with ToToT candidates
  • Radio programs




Call for Proposal SUNSAI (Scaling up Nutrition Sensitive Agriculture Interventions)

Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation Pakistan under its project Nutrition in Mountain Agro-Ecosystems (NMA) is calling for proposals on Nutrition Sensitive Agriculture in Mountainous areas of Pakistan. The applicant institutions can be Businesses, extension service providers, NGOs etc. These proposals are to scale up Proven nutrition sensitive agriculture interventions in collaboration with local institutions.The proposed interventions need to have been successfully applied in similar contexts – i.e. found technically and economically viable and contributing to diversified diets – either within a Micro Intervention during NMA phase I or in a similar set-up.

SUNSAI aim at achieving systemic and lasting change at a larger geographic scale than Micro Interventions, e.g. at the level of municipalities, village clusters or valleys. Accordingly, they increase the production as well as the consumption of nutritious foods of a larger number of people. SUNSAI are thus expected to have a more integrated approach towards nutrition, e.g. using a multi-sector approach between agriculture, health and education, by linking production and consumption, e.g. linking farmers to rural and urban markets, and by including an awareness raising component that leads to behavioral change at consumer level. They are expected to be well embedded institutionally, i.e. they are closely linked to and receive support from local key institutions such as municipalities, farmer organizations, educational institutions, health care providers, professional associations etc.

These proposals are selected based on a competitive fund system.The proposals are evaluated by a technical committee, based on transparently announced criteria and a rating system.These proposals will be reviewed and evaluated by a technical committee comprising of 3-4 members, two will be project team members and 2 will be local experts.

Upon successful application, SUNSAI receive coaching and co-funding from the NMA project, and are closely monitored. Contributions from the project include:

  • Co-funding of CHF 5’000-10’000, proportionally to the number of people reached. NMA will cover a maximum of 50% of the total costs. The project contribution is proportional to the number of beneficiaries reached.
  • Participation in capacity development program including coaching in refining and implementing the SUNSAI for those RSPs that have not participated in NMA phase I.
  • Coaching for the design and implementation of the SUNSAIs for those RSPs that participated already in a capacity development program in NMA phase I
  • Support in advocacy, networking, and communication.
  • Support in monitoring and evaluation of key indicators, and documentation of experiences.

    For proposal submission, applicants must use the application format. Application forms must be submitted electronically.

    The deadline for proposal submission is 1 November 2018

    The submitted proposals will be evaluated by a technical committee. Proposals that comply with the minimum criteria will be shortlisted. The shortlisted proposals will be further assessed based on selection criteria by an international evaluation committee that compares SUNSAI proposals from different countries. The best proposals will be selected for funding. In total, maximum 15 to 30 SUNSAI will be selected.


    The Selection of SUNSAI for funding will be communicated to applicants by 1 December 2018.

    Contact details for submission of proposal


  • The proposal format and guidelines are attached for your information please.


Call for Applications


The NMA II project in (Himalaya, Hindu Kush) is calling for applications to join the

Training of Teams of Trainers (ToToT) Program:

1.    Background:

The Nutrition in Mountain Agro-ecosystems II (NMA II) project, funded by the SDC and implemented by IFOAM-Organics International and its regional partner Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation Pakistan, has the overall goal of contributing to the improved access to sufficient nutritious food for rural communities in mountain regions. This is to be achieved through a network of actors, facilitating innovation and the diversification of proven agro-ecological and other nutrition-sensitive practices.

2.    Objective:

 The specific objective of the ToToT program is to develop the capacity of potential trainers to be able to implement successfully the Capacity Development Program for Rural Service Providers (CDP for RSP) that was developed and first implemented under the NMA I program.

 The intent of the CDP is to develop the capacity, increase the knowledge and develop the skills of RSPs. After the completion of the CDP, RSPs will be able to identify, develop, implement and disseminate the knowledge on locally relevant solutions to challenges to the productivity and nutritional quality of food derived from agro-ecosystems in their local area of operation. They will become part of a network to share their solutions and experiences.

The ToToT program aims to spread the knowledge about nutrition sensitive initatives and provide teams of trainers the required knowledge and skills to further disseminate this knowledge, launch their own CDPs and include this training program into the curricula of their respective institutions.

3.    What will you learn?

You will learn how to disseminate and train RSPs on an extensive range of topics related to sustainable agriculture systems based on the agro-ecological approach.  Syllabus topics of the CDP are:

  • Agroecology (AE) and Organic Agriculture (OA) principles and practices: Solution-driven for local agro-ecosystems and their links to Nutrition Sensitive Agriculture (NSA) and Interventions (NSI)
  • Extension/advisory service and facilitation: Approaches, Methodology and Practice
  • Value Chain and Markets
  • Support Structures and Networks
  • Advocacy, lobbying and local campaigns
  • Management and Communication

The specific skills that you will learn as Trainer include:

  • A deeper understanding of the above syllabus topics.
  • The knowledge and understanding of the linkages between participatory training methodology, and various skills, tips and tricks to develop and conduct RSP-focused trainings.
  • Access to the appropriate teaching materials of the Organic Academy and IFOAM-Organics International.
  • Knowledge and skills to conduct online training.
  • Skills and knowledge to design, develop and budget an RSP training program

4.    What will you gain?

You will jointly develop the capacity to not only assist your target community to develop good and sustainable farming systems, but also gain the skills necessary to include this training program in your own organisation’s programs.

5.    Who can do the course?

Qualified people can apply as individuals or in team/s of 4 trainers, based on the criteria below:

 If you:

  • Have proven experience and skills in teaching and/or training (at least 3 years’ relevant experience in training adults in a rural/extension/farming environment.
  • An understanding of sustainable and organic/agro-ecological practices;
  • Are proficient in the training language;
  • You have the support/approval of your institution;

This is desirable:

  • A grasp of nutrition and nutrition sensitive practices in agriculture and food systems;
  • And if you, or at least two of your team members, have completed one of IFOAM-Organics International’s Academy Programs (such as the NMA CDP for RSPs, the Organic Leadership or Foundation Course, or the INOFO Capacity Development Program);

You are welcome to apply for the ToToT.

6.    What would be your commitment?

  • You need to commit to be available for a residential training session of 5 days.
  • You further need to be available to do 2-3 online webinars of approximately 2 hours each.
  • You need to be prepared to do self-study of at least 50 hours
  • You must be able and prepared to develop a training program and budget based on the training you receive. (You will receive guidance and support from your mentor/coach)
  • You need to be prepared to commit your time to share and disseminate the knowledge and skills gained during the program,  and prepared to work as a team.

7.    How do I apply?

8.    After Application:

  • Applicants will be shortlisted, based on a qualitative assessment of their application and profile.
  • Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed via Skype, and successful candidates will be informed via email

Note:1 Along with application please share letter of support from your existing organization.


High level Forum Food and Nutrition Security – A Way Forward May 15, 2018, Islamabad, Pakistan

A High Level Forum on ‘Food and Nutrition Security’ was organized by HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation (HSI) in collaboration with Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Secretariat, Planning Commission Govt. of Pakistan under Nutrition in Mountain Agro-ecosystems(NMA)Project. The forum was attended by the Deputy High Commissioner of Australian Embassy in Pakistan, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, parliamentarians of different political parties, government officials, SUN, HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation Pakistan, UN organizations, INGOs, local elected representatives, civil society, academia, Journalists, Rural Support Providers (RSPs) and farmers groups of different regions i.e. FATA, GB and KP. 

-      Welcome Address

Mr. Aslam Shaheen, SUN Focal person, in his welcome address, shared alarming statistics relating to malnutrition in Pakistan and the whole world. He said that about 2 billion people around the globe were suffering from micronutrient deficiency.  In Pakistan, he added that, 44% of children were suffering from stunted growth while about 16% were wasted. He informed the forum that Pakistan Multi-Sectoral Nutrition Strategy had been developed and was going to be launched soon. Mr. Shaheen updated the forum on National Nutrition Survey 2018 that would be completed soon and would contribute to the upcoming Global Nutrition Report. He, on behalf of the planning commission, Govt. of Pakistan extended his gratitude to the Embassy of Australia, SDC, IFOAM and all other donors and actors for assisting the Government in its initiatives for nutrition security in Pakistan.   

-      Objectives of the Event

While elaborating objectives of the event, Dr. Arjumand Nizami, Country Director HSI, briefly elaborated about ‘Nutrition in Mountain Agro-ecosystems’ project of HSI funded by Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).  She told the forum that nutrition was a multi-sectoral issue and should be mainstreamed across the sectors for nutrition security through behavioral change.  She added that Mass Media could play a vital role in awareness and policy influence regarding nutrition. She further pleaded for inclusion of nutrition security in manifesto of all the political parties and stressed personal and state commitments for eradication of malnutrition. Dr. Arjumand elaborated the event objectives as following;

°         To update stakeholders on achievements of NMA project

°         To share learnings and experiences of the project with stakeholders for capitalization and expansion to other mountainous areas

°         To determine a way forward

°         To obtain commitment of political parties and their leaders for contributing to nutrition security in the country

-      Food Fortification

Dr. Baseer Achakzai, Secretary Food Fortification Alliance gave a comprehensive note on nutrition and food fortification. He elucidated that malnutrition was not only an issue of affordability or availability of nutrient food but it was also because of life style or culture e.g. bottle feeding had become a fashion while it was like a poison, in comparison, breast feeding protected infants against many infectious and chronic diseases. He further elaborated that Pakistan was one of the largest wheat donors of WFP but itself faced nutrition deficiency not because of scarcity of quality food but just due to malpractices e.g. 92% of fast food was wasted due to its short life.  He further added that mountain areas of Pakistan were comparatively more disadvantaged and should be focused by all the actors collectively.

-      Importance of Nutrition Sensitive Agriculture

Dr. Azeem Khan, Member Food Security and Climate Change, Planning Commission of Pakistan highlighted importance of high value agriculture. He informed the forum about the SUN movement and commitments of Pakistan Government regarding food and nutrition security. He updated the forum that Government had allocated 10 billion Pak. Rupees through Annual Development Programme to support nutrition related ventures. He further added that availability of nutrition sensitive food was also an obligation of the government under Vision 2025, MGDs and SGDs. He stressed on behavioral change and meaningful partnership for mountains development programme to have a healthy nation.

-      Remarks by His Excellency, the Australian Deputy High Commissioner

Mr. Brek Batly, Deputy Head of Mission Embassy of Australia, appraised the forum that Australia was aware of the alarming situation of malnutrition in Pakistan and also knew the potentials to cope with the crises. He told the forum that mitigating malnutrition was a collective responsibility of all the nations and Australia was part of it. He added that scarcity of food water and nutrition was a great challenge for Pakistan which needed policy measures and long term commitments. Similarly he hinted at the need of multi stakeholder’s partnership and educating communities on health and nutrition issues.

-      NMA Learning and Way Forward

Project leader of NMA made a detailed presentation on the project background, its framework, approaches, achievements and learnings. She also illustrated global and Pakistan situation regarding nutrition. She told that NMA was implemented, in the last three years, in mountain regions of five countries i.e. Pakistan, Nepal, Kyrgyzstan, Ethiopia and Peru through a consortium of IFOAM Organic International, HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation and FiBL. The project aimed at improved access of mountain dwellers to sufficient nutritious food and strived to achieve the goal through promoting nutrition sensitive agriculture, capacity building and networking of service providers, and advocacy for national nutrition sensitive policies. She added that the 1st phase of the project had been completed successfully and it was expected to continue with its 2nd phase (detail presentation enclosed as Annex-2)

-      Brain Storming – Views of Participants

During a brainstorming session, the participants expressed their views and suggestions as following:

°         Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Government is committed to nutrition security and most of the required measures i.e. high value agriculture and livestock, tunnel farming and value chain development are part of its Annual Development Plans.

°         It is more effective to go with integrated approach and take all the govt. line departments along for sustainability beyond the project life (Executive Director LASOONA Society).

°         Urbanization is posing threats to nutrition security through converting agriculture lands into roads, markets and towns etc. In the given situation there is a need of innovative techniques e.g. kitchen gardening and roof top agriculture.

°         All the segments of a given community need to be focused equitably i.e. youth should also be considered along with children and lactating women and awareness should be raised in all age and gender groups about both nutrition sensitive production and consumption.

°         Proper seed of appropriate varieties should be selected for kitchen gardening and roof top agriculture.

°         Research should be conducted on nutritious, climate smart and low cost species e.g. Moringa.

°         Organic farming should be promoted through demonstrations.

°         Farmers should also on their own consumption instead of selling the whole produce.

°         Model interventions in Haripur should be replicated in GB and other parts of the project area.

°         All HH members should have same access to nutritious food.

°         Communities should start adopting healthy practices; similarly projects should also start with small things instead of waiting high level policies.

°         Careful selection should be made while purchasing food items to get more nutrient rich food.

-      Panel Discussion – Contribution of Political Parties and Leaders to Addressing Nutrition in Pakistan

A panel of parliamentarians of different parties including Ms. Rahila Hameed Khan Durrani, Speaker Baluchistan Assembly; Mr. Nadeem Imran, Member GB Legislative Assembly; Mr. Shehriyar Afridi, Member National Assembly;  Ms. Amina Sardar, Member KP assembly; and Mr. Asif Ali, Member District Council Haripur, moderated by the well-known journalist Syed Talat Hussain, made a detail discussion on how the issue of malnutrition could be addressed through policy measures and legislation.

Consensus was developed on the following key points:

  1. Nutrition security has given little attention in the parliament even so it has become a national crisis
  2. It needs political will and state level initiatives to cope with the issue
  3. There should be a policy focus and even a separate ministry
  4. Harmful drinks and foods need to be regulated through proper laws and regulations
  5. As NGOs are complementing Government both should work in close collaboration to capitalize on each other experience.
  6. Research may be conducted for improvement in varieties of crops, weeds and fruits.

Similarly, all the panel members agreed that though research had been initiated to probe into the issue, still there were gaps in data of different strata/areas. The panel stressed on more in-depth research, policy measures and legislation to eradicate the menace of malnutrition. The panel also signed a memorandum of commitment with the following key recommendations to adopt nutrition as a political agenda and collectively work for Policy / legislation to meet the challenges of food and nutrition security.

Suggested Recommendations for Inclusion in Political Parties’ Manifestos


°         Declare Nutrition and Food Security as a Fundamental Right in the party manifesto and advocate the same for inclusion in the Constitution of Pakistan.

°         Adopt and implement Pakistan Multi-sectoral Nutrition Strategy and accelerate implementation of provincial Multi-sectoral Nutrition Strategies by allocating adequate financial resources.

°         Develop a specific and fully funded budget line for nutrition in the annual national and provincial budgets with special attention to nutritional needs of vulnerable groups and marginalized communities.

°         Develop a comprehensive action plan for implementation of SDG 2 (Zero Hunger), ensure enforcement of protection and promotion of breast feeding laws, and enactment of mandatory food fortification and food safety laws at national and provincial levels.

°         Monitor progress on nutrition by establishing dedicated Parliamentary Committee for Nutrition and Food Security.


-      Groups Display – Products, Tools, Techniques and Knowledge Material

Panel members and all other participants of the forum visited food stalls displayed by different farmers groups, RSPs and civil society organizations for awareness, learning and replication purposes. The exposition comprised organic and nutrient rich vegetable, fruits, honey, herbs, extracts, grains and legumes mostly produced by target farmer groups.  Relevant literature, infographics and messages relating to nutrition sensitive food and agriculture had also been displayed at the stalls.

-      Closing

Deputy Country Director HSI, Dr. Jawad Ali conveyed HSI appreciation to all the honorable guests, panel members and participants for their support and contribution to the common cause of national health.

Some News clippings of the event are below:





Global Nutrition report 2017 Pakistan Launch

Global Nutrition Report 2017 Pakistan Launch
Rate of exclusive breastfeeding improved only 1% as compared to 2006-2007 which was 37% at that time
under 5 mortality rate in 2015 reduced to 81 per 1000 births as compared tp 90 per 1000 births in 2011
open defecation reduced to 12 % in 2015 and basic sanitation is 58%, 22% unimproved and 8% have limited sanitation coverage
drinking water coverage is 36% safely managed, 53% basic and 6% unimproved



Diversification is beuty


Theme of May 27/2017 Food Festival



May 27/2017 was a glorious day for all Ethiopian RSPs working on nutrition.

  • More than 600 participant engaged on the food festival held on may 27/2017 in Holeta, Ethiopia
  • Cultural dance and different arts presented
  • 2 women (from NMA project) told their success story for the participants
  • 4 schools, three village community representatives, associations presented their amazing presentation on diversified food, organic vegetable and seed
  • Higher officials from federal, regional, zonal and town level passed their message, direction, remarking speech and their input for the success of nutrition related projects
  • ISD and Lemi Gari presented about NMA project and related issues 
  • National and local medias documented the whole program. Oromia region television (OTV) transmitted the festival through the television by giving around 5 minute
  • Students, farmers specially women and other community members awareness on dietary diversification created
  • All stakeholders including higher officials took their role on promotion of dietary diversification and nutrition sensitive agriculture (during the discussion)
    Will back to you with the detail of the event
    Thank you ISD, RSPs, IFOAM, stakeholders, government higher officials,medias and those participated on the food festival.
    Endale Sahilu (RSP from Holeta Ethiopia)



9.6 million Children have experienced chronic nutrition deprivation in Pakistan (Report) - Call for serious attention at large scale


NMA Exhibition at Haripur dated 17/4/2017

Kitchen Gardening Stall ---- by Kitchen Gardening Cluster 



Mr Markus enjoy with beneficiary's children during his visitng day on March 23/2017 In BEDEDO( Ethiopia)


Mr Markus Arbenz -Excutive Director visiting Fatuma's Home garden in Ethiopia(BEDEDO) on March 23/2017 afternoo


National Nutrition Survey to be launched soon

National Nutrition survey of Pakistan to be launched soon in 2017 please see the link below



UN Special Rapporteurs statement to promote breastfeeding
Joint statement by the UN Special Rapporteurs on the Right to Food, Right to Health, the Working Group on Discrimination against Women in law and in practice, and the Committee on the Rights of the Child in support of increased efforts to promote, support and protect breast-feeding  
- See more at: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=20871&LangID=E#sthash.ks0WAG3u.dpuf



Pakistan PAK