JFF Chair Speaks at USAID US-Pakistani Diaspora Engagement Conference

ISLAMABAD: JFF chair speaks on foundation humanitarian efforts to support pregnant women impacted by catastrophic flooding with nutrition supplementation

Ansir Junaid, Chairman of the Junaid Family Foundation, was an invited speaker at the US-Pakistani Diaspora Engagement Conference hosted by the United States Agency for International Aid (USAID). Mr. Junaid joined other business and government leaders to discuss humanitarian aid support for victims impacted by the devastating floods that covered roughly one-third of the country in water this past spring and summer.

The one-day conference drew high-ranking officials from the government of Pakistan and business leaders from the United States and Pakistan to showcase key contributions and investments made by the US-Pakistani diaspora in humanitarian and social sectors and commercial investments. The event also signified the formalization of USAID-diaspora partnership memorandums of understanding that explore avenues of future engagements to encourage commercial investment and continued humanitarian relief to support stability and growth in the region.

The Junaid Family Foundation, led by Mr. Junaid, has been working with the government of Pakistan over the past two years in collaboration with another US non-profit, Kirk Humanitarian, to support a prenatal vitamin program that will improve maternal and infant birth outcomes. The program seeks to improve conditions in Pakistan by encouraging the use of United Nations International Multiple Micronutrient Antenatal Preparation Multiple Micronutrient Supplements (UNIMMAP MMS) as a standard part of the government-supported prenatal care program. UNIMMAP MMS, endorsed by the World Health Organization, is proven safe for both mothers and babies and has demonstrated benefits on infant survival (29% reduction in neonatal mortality), reduction of incidence of low birth weight, and small for gestational age births, especially for mothers with anemia. The program aims to provide a better start to life for children by replacing IFA (iron folic acid) supplements with UNIMMAP MMS at scale.

In light of the tragic events of 2022, more than 1.5 million pregnant women are suffering from undernutrition due to limited access to nutrients that support a healthy, full-term birth. As a result, JFF and Kirk Humanitarian have temporarily pivoted their broader MMS program to direct aid in support of flood victims. The organizations have pledged to ship at least 2 million bottles of MMS to Pakistan. The first 1 million bottles arrived in the port of Karachi on February 2nd, 2023, where the National Disaster Management Authority of Pakistan (NDMA) will immediately distribute the shipment to the three affected regions.

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