Khyber Medical University (KMU), Peshawar with sponsorship of The United Nations World Food (WFP) and in collaboration with Directorate of Health Services FATA has formally launched a programme to prevent stunting in the Kurram Agency. Vice Chancellor KMU, Prof. Dr. Arshad Javaid was the chief guest in the inaugural ceremony, where as representative of Country Director WFP Ms. Cecillia Garzon and Director Health Services FATA Dr. Jawad Habib along with others was also present at the occasion.

While talking to the inaugural ceremony the Vice Chancellor of KMU Prof. Dr. Arshad Javaid said that this effort to support live hoods and school feeding will strengthen the evidence base for providing specialized food for children and mothers to prevent stunting.  He hoped that this programme will help reverse the trends of stunting in FATA especially in Kurram Agency.

Representative of Country Director WFP Ms. Cecillia Garzon said, “Stunting can robe children of the opportunity to reach their full potential in life. In order to break the inter generational cycle of under nutrition we need to focus on mothers and very young children. We have already seen this approach show very promising result in Sindh and we are hoping to see similar improvements in FATA”, she added. She further said that WFP is the world largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide delivering food assistance in emergency and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience.

According to details the launching initiative is supported by the United State Agency for International Development (USAID) - Pakistan and will focus on preventing stunting during “1000-day window of opportunity,” the period between a woman’s pregnancy and her child’s 2nd birthday. Inadequate nutrition during this time can irreversible affect a child’s cognitive and physical development. WFP will work with the office of Research Innovation and Commercialization of KMU in Kurram Agency to deliver locally produced specialized nutritious food for the children aged 6-24 months, along with pregnant women and nursing mothers, through an extensive network of community-based female health workers and health facilities. In addition, children aged 24-59 months will receive micronutrient supplement. More than    75,000 children and women will benefit from the programme, and government staff will be trained to support and implement the programme to ensure its sustainability.