Eliminating Hidden Hunger: Mishal-NUML Partnership Focusing on New Vocabulary.
Islamabad, PK – 7 September, 2016 – Mishal Pakistan, the Country Partner Institute of the Global Competitiveness and Benchmarking Network of the World Economic Forum and the National University of Modern Languages (NUML) announced partnership to create new media vocabulary to bring Hidden Hunger into public debate.
An estimated 2 billion people — over 30 percent of the world’s population suffer from deficiencies in essential vitamins and minerals. “Hidden hunger” is how health experts often refer to micronutrient deficiencies because most people affected do not show the visible physical symptoms and hence may not be aware of their condition.
Pakistan has an alarmingly high level of malnutrition; 24 percent of the population in Pakistan is undernourished. The most recent estimates by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) state that 37.5 million people in Pakistan are not receiving proper nourishment. The issue is complex and widespread, with deficiencies ranging from protein to iodine, along with other health problems due to insufficient intake of these essential nutrients.
Prof. Karamat Ali, Director ORIC NUML said, “the consequences of hidden hunger can be devastating for the future human security of the country, leading to mental impairment, poor health, low productivity and in severe cases, death. This is an important initiative, which requires all stakeholders to work together for a more secure and prosperous nation.”
“Even mild to moderate deficiencies can affect a person’s well-being and development. Hidden hunger disproportionately affects infants, young children and women, preventing them from achieving their full potential in life. Unfortunately, there is not enough data available on how media is taking up this issue in Pakistan. This initiative will create new knowledge and data-sets for future media research and interventions in Pakistan”, said Amir Jahangir, Chief Executive Officer of Mishal Pakistan.
The joint research and media development initiatives will build the capacity of thousands of journalists and media professionals across Pakistan in the coming years. Under the Creating Shared Values initiatives, Mishal is now establishing a new partnership with various stakeholders to create and strengthen Pakistan’s national dialogue on Hidden Hunger. Mishal is working closely with the leading research and academic institutions to develop interventions to improve the human capital and industry standards through knowledge-based initiatives on hidden hunger, while providing policy guidelines to the public sector leadership.
Mishal has also earlier announced that to mainstream the concept of micronutrient deficiencies, the “AGAHI Awards 2016 will have special category on Eliminating Hidden Hunger.”
This initiative is part of a memorandum of understanding signed between NUML through its Office for Research, Innovation and Commercialization and Mishal Pakistan earlier in March 2016. Part of the initiative is to build stakeholders capacity to understand and create fact-based and data-supported debate in to media discourse.
The UN Sustainable Development Goals aim to end all forms of hunger and malnutrition by 2030, making sure all people – especially children and the more vulnerable – have access to sufficient and nutritious food all year round. This involves promoting sustainable agricultural practices: improving the livelihoods and capacities of small scale famers, allowing equal access to land, technology and markets. It also requires international cooperation to ensure investment in infrastructure and technology to improve agricultural productivity. Zero Hunger is one of 17 Global Goals that make up the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Established in 2003, Mishal has been engaged with some of the most dynamic organizations, including media enterprises and global development agencies helping them develop their communication strategies and solutions for better understanding and creating synergies with their concerned stakeholders. Mishal is the country partner institute of the Center for Global Competitiveness and Benchmarking Network of the World Economic Forum. Mishal’s research and capacity building initiatives have assisted and helped successive governments to improve Pakistan’s global ranking on competitiveness, gender gap, trade and information technology indices.
The National University of Modern Languages was established as an institute in 1970 to help people communicate and understand each other in different oriental and occidental languages, to assimilate different cultures and to act as springboard for emerging disciplines. Initially, the institute provided language training facilities to personnel of armed forces and other government services of Pakistan. It was upgraded to University on May 29, 2000. In achieving this benchmark of a fully autonomous University, it has crossed many barriers and achieved a status of a seat of learning and contributing new knowledge in local and global perspective and now teaches 27 oriental and occidental languages in addition to a number of emerging disciplines. Now, the University has a vibrant and well-grounded research program, offering MS/MPhil and PhD research degrees in various disciplines.
The Office for Research, Innovation and Commercialisation (ORIC) at NUML has been established to initiate, embed, support and integrate the process of research, innovation and commercialization in every department of the university. ORIC aims to protect and promote the interests of NUML and is working on long-term, sustainable planning and progress of all of its units in integration with the departments of the university.