Pakistan and UAE Discuss Food Security Initiatives for Vulnerable Populations
Karachi,: Minister of State and Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Public Communication and Digital Platforms, Fahd Haroon, met with H.E. Bakheet Al Romaithi, United Arab Emirates Consul General in Karachi.
They both discussed the importance of public communication in raising awareness about food security and the impacts of climate change. The meeting centered around the UAE food program for Pakistan, initiated by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Karachi, Pakistan – 29 April 2023 – Minister of State and Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Public Communication and Digital Platforms, Fahd Haroon, met with H.E. Bakheet Al Romaithi, United Arab Emirates Consul General in Karachi. They both discussed the importance of public communication in raising awareness about food security and the impacts of climate change. The meeting centered around the UAE food program for Pakistan, initiated by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
During the meeting, Mr. Haroon also informed a visiting media delegation from the UAE about the initiatives taken by Pakistan, particularly in the Sindh province, to combat food insecurity. The Consul General expressed satisfaction with the cooperation between the government of Sindh and UAE on the ‘Emirates Humanitarian’ medical campaign in Pakistan’s southern Sindh province to provide health facilities to the poor.
Pakistan and UAE have a long history of friendly relations, with the UAE serving as a trusted ally for Pakistan. The UAE Pakistan Assistance Programme (UAE-PAP) reflects His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s love for the people of Pakistan. The program has provided assistance in various social and humanitarian fields, including health, poverty alleviation, education, and disaster relief.
According to the latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification Acute Malnutrition analysis, acute malnutrition is at a Critical level in eight districts in Sindh and at a Serious level in one district. The UAE’s food assistance program aims to address this pressing issue. As per the data, the overall malnutrition prevalence in Pakistan is 38.3%, with 17.7 million stunted and 9.7 million wasted children under five years of age. In the past, UAE has executed several humanitarian assistance programs in Pakistan, including the UAE Polio Vaccination Campaign, which vaccinated over 86 million Pakistani children under the age of five between 2014 and December 2020. UAE’s assistance in the healthcare sector has helped Pakistan combat various diseases and increase life expectancy.
Pakistan and the UAE share a strong trade relationship with a significant Pakistani population residing in the UAE. According to the State Bank of Pakistan, Pakistan received $531.4 million in remittances from the UAE in 2022. The UAE is Pakistan’s biggest trading partner in the Middle East and North Africa region, with exports from the UAE to Pakistan amounting to $7.13 billion in 2021.
The main products exported from the UAE to Pakistan were refined petroleum, crude petroleum, and scrap iron. During the last 18 years, exports of the UAE to Pakistan have increased at an annualized rate of 9.57%, from $1.38 billion in 2003 to $7.13 billion in 2021. Pakistan exported $1.28 billion worth of products to the UAE in 2021, with refined petroleum, bovine meat, and rice being the primary products. The exports of Pakistan to the UAE have increased at an annualized rate of 0.74%, from $1.12 billion in 2003 to $1.28 billion in 2021.
The meeting between Mr. Haroon and the Consul General reflects the shared commitment of Pakistan and UAE to address food insecurity and improve the well-being of vulnerable populations. The UAE’s food assistance program, along with Pakistan’s initiatives in the Sindh province, will help address the issue of malnutrition in Pakistan.