By: Kashif Javed
It has been realized that to achieve success on SDGs agenda (particularly SDG 02) a strong partnership between public and private sector. Church can provide an enabling environment by working with the Government to contribute and advocate for ending hunger in Pakistan.
In this context, Caritas as a social wing of Catholic Church in Pakistan is trying a lot to contribute by becoming a support to the government and advocating for SDG2 in association with National Commission for Justice and Peace and with other civil society organizations.
During two different meetings with Mr. Naveed Anthony and Madam Mangla Sharma both sitting Ministers of Political parties of Pakistan People’s Party and Mutahida Quomi Movement, Mr. Mansha Noor (Executive Director of Caritas Pakistan Karachi) said that the main objectives of advocacy campaign are to:
- Raise public awareness of the extent of hunger in Pakistan and its impact on the lives of people
- Review of the government policies and plans and disseminate to Caritas staff and other stakeholders for better planning
- Express our support for policies that will alleviate hunger, and to voice our dissent when necessary.
- Identify and mobilize potential stakeholders to raise unified voice focusing on SDG 02
- Capacity building of Caritas staff on SDGs
Mr. Kashif Anthony (Coordinator National Commission for Justice and Peace) briefed that Caritas Pakistan and NCJP wishes to bring by Advocacy which is not just about raising awareness but it is also about trying to change the policies, practices and attitudes that cause poverty and injustice all over the world and especially in our country Pakistan. Through this advocacy plan, Caritas Pakistan and NCJP wants to produce following change. Mr. Kashif also said that Caritas want to work to Mobilize grassroots communities on the issue of hunger that how they can save their food and become part of existing networks doing some focused work on hunger and food security issues.
Mr. Mansha also said that we both the Catholic Church’ organizations wishes to engaging with government, media and other civil society networks for better implementation of government policies and plan to address hunger in Pakistan. It is also our desire to consistent execution of advocacy activities focusing SDG 02 and relation building with Federal and provincial level SDG Unit in Pakistan and use their resources in to making sure that in our country there be Zero Hunger and no one sleeps without having food.
His Eminence Joseph Cardinal Coutts, head of Christian community in Pakistan, during one of these meetings had said that Caritas Pakistan has worked had for prosperity of Pakistan and now their project will defiantly will help people to develop themselves.
Mr. Naveed Anthony (PPP) said that it’s a good initiative of the Catholic Church and “I really appreciate and thank Caritas for its efforts for Zero Hunger and bringing different talents to youth and women of our country Pakistan, through their different skill programs.” Catholic Church has contributed a lot in the sectors of Education, Health and Charity which will never be forgotten in the history of Pakistan. Mr. Naveed also said that hunger make people susceptible to infectious diseases, impair physical and mental development, reduce their labor productivity and increase the risk of premature death.
Madam Mangla Sharma of (MQM) reminded them that whatever they are doing for community development should be the aim of our lives. She cherished the works of both Catholic organizations working for humanity.
She assured her full support over this project and said that she is happy that Caritas Pakistan and NCJP both Catholic organizations are working hard for humanity.