The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) funded Sindh Community Mobilization Program organized a “Child Nutrition in Sindh: Challenges and Opportunities” conference. USAID wants to better coordinate development partners to improve child nutrition in Sindh.
“We want to implement a comprehensive strategy and strong coordination to fight malnutrition,” said Leon Waskin, USAID provincial director for Sindh and Balochistan. “Education plays a vital role in improving child health and nutrition,” he said.
As part of the USAID-funded Sindh Basic Education Program (SBEP) — in partnership with the Sindh Education and Literacy Department — the Sindh Community Mobilization Program (CMP) is linking schools and health facilities to fight malnutrition. The CMP also trains parents to provide their children with healthy, balanced meals.
At the conference, Adrienne Mundorf, policy and advocacy manager at the Prevention Research Center at Tulane University in New Orleans, presented findings from the university’s “Sindh Nutrition and Healthy Practices Survey.”
Many children in Sindh suffer from malnutrition and this affects their ability to learn. The situation is worst in districts affected by the 2010 floods. USAID CMP targets providing assistance to school children aged five to nine.
Education Secretary Fazlullah Pechuho, Health Secretary Saeed Ahmed Mangnejo, USAID Senior Policy Advisor and Program Manager-SBEP Randy Hatfield and numerous officials from the Sindh Health, Education, and Planning and Development departments attended.