Karachi – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has inaugurated a Cold Storage facility in Karachi to store and protect high value nutritious items. The stored food commodities are to be distributed at the Nutrition and Livelihood projects WFP is implementing in Sindh province.
Many areas in Sindh are affected by drought repeatedly, causing severe shortage of food, resulting in malnutrition, diseases and death. Children and pregnant women are affected the most. Since 2014, WFP in Pakistan, has adopted a persistent approach towards achieving sustainable food security in all parts of Pakistan. In Sindh especially, WFP is implementing the Community Based Management of Acute Malnutrition interventions in five districts and a Stunting Prevention project in collaboration with the Government in 29 union councils of district Thatta.
Through these projects WFP provides supplementary food to the identified undernourished children and Pregnant and Lactating Women. The foods distributed include Micro Nutrition Powder (MNP) and Nutrient rich supplements; Wawamum and Wheat Soya Blend. All three are highly temperature sensitive and requires to be stored at controlled temperatures i.e. 18 to 25 degree. Protecting these commodities is challenging as Pakistan has a continental type of climate characterized by extreme variations of temperature, both seasonally and daily.
Identifying this essential need, WFP has constructed a Cold Storage facility in WFP’s rented warehouse at Port Qasim. The state of the art facility has a capacity to store 250 metric tons of food items, enhancing WFP Pakistan’s ability to handle the temperature sensitive items and their delivery effectively. The facility will not only help safeguard WFP’s commodities but will also be used for other humanitarian agencies, in Pakistan.
The event in Karachi was inaugurated by Ms. Corinne Fleischer the Director Procurement Division at WFP. Also in attendance were Ms. Isabelle Mballa, Chief, Food Quality & Safety Unit at WFP, Senior WFP staff and representatives of other humanitarian agencies.
“WFP’ specialized nutrient-rich foods with essential minerals and vitamins needed for a young child to be healthy, overcome malnutrition and grow well are locally produced and adjusted to food preferences and halal requirements. Because of their ready-to-eat nature, they are sensitive to high temperatures. The two active nutrition projects using these specialized foods, created an acute need for a temperature controlled storage facility in Karachi to protect the quality of the food items before they are sent out for distribution” said Ms. Corinne Fleischer.
In the past WFP has also constructed similar cold storafe facilities in Peshawar, Multan and Quetta.