Pak, Korea cooperation to help address malnutrition issue: Ambassador Suh Sangpyo

FAISALABAD: Korean Ambassador to Pakistan Suh Sangpyo said on Friday that Pak Korea Nutrition Centre (PKNC), established at the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad (UAF), in collaboration with the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), is a great step to address the issue of malnutrition with a special focus on mothers and children.

He along with UAF Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Iqrar Ahmed Khan, KOICA Country Head Je Ho Yeon, Special Technology Zone Authority Executive Director Amir Salemi, Food, Nutrition and Home Sciences Dean Dr Masood Sadiq Butt and other notables performed the groundbreaking of the building of PKNC.   

He said that there was deep friendship between the Republic of Korea and Pakistan, and in this connection KOICA was taking vigorous measures to further strengthen these relations. He said that the UAF was one of the most important university of Pakistan especially in agriculture sector.

He congratulated the UAF over the declaration of Agri-Tech Park by Special Technology Zone Authority that would prove a milestone step. He said that due to climate change, it is extremely sad to see the damage that Pakistan has suffered due to severe floods. He said that in this hour of catastrophe, the government and people of Korea express solidarity with the suffering families of Pakistan.

He said there was a need for concerted efforts to improve maternal and child malnutrition so that a healthy and energetic young generation can be given to the society for the future.

UAF Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Iqar Ahmad Khan said that the Pak-Korea Nutrition Center would be established with a total cost of $9.659 million, of which 7 million dollars will be provided by KOICA and 2.659 million dollars will be provided under the Public Sector Development Program of the Planning Commission, Government of Pakistan.

He said that under this center Agricultural University Peshawar, Balochistan University of Medical and Health Sciences Quetta, Faisalabad Medical University, Children Hospital Faisalabad, Sindh Agricultural University Tandojam and Karakoram International University Gilgit-Baltistan will also partner universities. 

He said fifty percent of our population is suffering from malnutrition among mothers and children. He said that we are grateful for the cooperation of the Korean government and KOICA authorities to solve this most important issue.

Sind Agriculture University Tandojam Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Fateh Mohammad said that the malnutrition had become an area of grave concerns in which collaborated efforts will bring tangible results.

Prof. Dr. Masood Sadiq Butt said that the Faculty of Food Nutrition and Home Sciences is a pioneer to launch the Human Nutrition and Dietetics degree that is replicated across the country . He said that ample employment opportunities are being provided for nutrition graduates, which will help in solving nutrition problems.

He said that the PKNC comprised chairs including Nutrition and Public Health; Food Fortification; Food Processing; Product Development and Value Addition; Compositional Analyses; Policy, Advocacy and Outreach. 

Amir Saleemi said that six zones have been established under the Special Technology Zone Authority in the country, out of which the Agri-Tech Park was established at UAF that will play an important role in the development of the country’s agriculture.

Director Planning and Development Irfan Abbas, giving a briefing during his address, said that the three-story building of Pak-Korea Nutrition Center is equipped with modern facilities, energy efficiency, modern laboratories, library,  and important facilities. Dr. Benish Sarwar Khan also spoke.

Mian Abrar
The writer heads Pakistan Today's Islamabad Bureau. He has a special focus on counter-terrorism and inter-state relations in Asia, Asia Pacific and South East Asia regions. He tweets as @mian_abrar and also can be reached at [email protected]

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