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ISLAMABAD: The newly created ministry of national food security has not been able to implement its ‘Zero Hunger’ project even after seven months of its launch by former Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.
In fact, the ministry, a product of the 18th Amendment, is itself in a state of limbo.
It is amazing that no formal approval has yet been accorded to the budgetary requirements of the zero hunger project.
The draft of its action plan prepared by the World Food Programme still lacks operational details.
What is missing is a comprehensive plan which clearly spells out the objects and the nature of activities to be undertaken.
With Yousuf Raza Gilani’s exit, the project’s pace has slowed down either due to the new ministry’s lack of interest or lack of cooperation from other ministries.
A major task of the project, to begin with, was to provide food to 45 extremely food insecure districts of the country but the whole scheme, it seems, has fallen victim to red-tapism.
Food security minister Mir Israrullah Zehri told the Senate on October 16 that up to 58 percent of the country’s population suffered from food insecurity.
He was quoting the figure from the National Nutrition Survey 2011 which was conducted by the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP). Of the total affected population, he said, 29.6 percent suffered from hunger or severe hunger.