Karachi: American Ambassador David Hale witnessed the signing of a partnership agreement between the US Agency for International Development-funded Sindh Community Mobilization Programme (CMP) and Aga Khan University’s Human Development Programme.
The effort will support nutrition-related activities for children ages 5-9 in CMP schools in seven northern districts in Sindh and five towns in Karachi.
“Education plays a vital role in improving children’s health and nutrition,” said Ambassador Hale. “No nation can reach its full potential if its people are not healthy and educated,” he said.
As part of the USAID-funded Sindh Basic Education Programme (SBEP) — in partnership with the Sindh Education and Literacy Department — CMP is linking schools and health facilities to fight malnutrition.
CMP also screens children and creates awareness among parents regarding the benefits of improved nutrition. Malnutrition affects children’s ability to learn.
In Sindh, the situation is most severe in districts affected by the 2010 floods.
USAID also awarded a grant to Aga Khan University to mainstream education for children with special needs and increase enrollment for girls in government and private schools.
The effort is part of the “Let Girls Learn” initiative in Pakistan to ensure girls receive the education they deserve, announced by Michelle Obama and Maryam Nawaz Sharif at the White House in October 2015.
US Consul General Brian Heath, Sindh Health Director-General Hassan Murad Shah, Education and Literacy Department Curriculum Wing head Fouzia Khan, Aga Khan University Hospital CEO Hans Kedzierski and AKU Medical College Dean Farhat Abbas attended.