PM directs urgent arrangement of baby food for flood-stricken children

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday instructed the concerned authorities to urgently coordinate efforts to ensure the supply of baby food to the flood-hit areas in order to avert malnutrition among the suffering children.

The prime minister, who chaired a virtual meeting on Pakistan’s flood situation during his US visit to New York, instructed cabinet members to reach out to food manufacturers to ensure needed supplies of baby formula.

He instructed the NDMA to place an order for the baby food, in addition to the voluntarily arranged one, to ensure children in the flood-hit areas are not malnourished.

The Prime Minister was told that children who were already malnourished in the affected areas have now been denied even a single meal due to the devastating floods, creating an urgency for the delivery of baby food.

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The prime minister asked cabinet members Ahsan Iqbal and Khawaja Saad Rafiq to speak to food manufacturers as well as provincial governments, including Punjab and KP, to extend their support to help the government meet the challenge.

The Prime Minister also instructed the Benazir Income Support Scheme to ensure the disbursement of the remaining Rs 45 billion in cash assistance among eligible families is completed within 10 days.

He also asked for tents to be provided for internally displaced families to provide them with temporary housing.

The meeting was informed that the tents would be prepared and distributed in a 70/30 split between the provinces of Sindh and Balochistan.

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Appreciating the improvement in railway infrastructure, the premier said that while Chinese President Xi Jinping took up the M-1 railway project with him while he was at SCO, he asked the railway minister for speedy work on the project.

He informed the assembly that a task force had been formed to deal exclusively with the affairs of the Chinese projects.

The Prime Minister also asked the relevant authorities to provide him with an assessment of malnutrition so that he could raise the issue in his speech to the UN General Assembly on September 23 to raise awareness around the world.

Discussing the situation of medicine supply in the flood-hit areas, the prime minister warned of strict measures against the hoarders of medicines badly needed for suffering humanity.

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He also assured drug manufacturers to solve their tax problems so they can ensure the necessary supply of drugs like Panadol and others.

“I want results… We are ready to solve tax problems… We are here to serve suffering humanity through practical steps,” he noted.

Prime Minister Shehbaz, who would also chair a similar meeting on Wednesday, asked the Food Security Minister to brief him on the need for wheat seeds for the flood-hit areas.

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