The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) together with all its public and private partners under the Project for Agri-Food and Agro-Industry Development assistance in Pakistan (PAFAID) celebrated World Food Safety Day to encourage healthy food practices to increase the sustainable production and consumption of safe foods to improve health outcomes.
The United Nations General Assembly established World Food Safety Day in 2018 to raise awareness of this important issue. WHO announced the theme for this year’s World Food Safety Day, “Safer food, better health”. UNIDO joins the World Food Safety Day campaign to ensure safe food for all. The celebration took place as a part of the PAFAID’s specialized training on the Good Hygiene Practices (GHP) and Good Animal Husbandry Practices (GAHP) in Islamabad. UNIDO’s Country Representative Ms. Nadia Aftab, representatives of the Ministry of National Food Security & Research (MNSFR), public and private partners from the KP province including KP Food Safety and Halal Food Authority (KPFSHFA), Directorate of Livestock Research & Development KP (LDD) and Local Council Board (LCB) were part of the event.
Opening the World Food Safety Day celebration, Ms. Nadia Aftab, UNIDO Country Representative, said “Food producers need to adopt good practices and must make sure that the food is safe. Improved food safety contributes to food security and lowers malnutrition, which ultimately reduces the burden on public health infrastructure”. She also appreciatedthe Government of Japan and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for funding PAFAID, and the MNSFR, the public and private counterparts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan provinces for their continuous support for the effective implementation of PAFAID and ensuring Food security in the country.
Ms. Ritsuko Hagiwara, Representative JICA, stressed on the importance of food safety, and further apricated both the public and private stakeholders on raising awareness on world food safety day. Speaking at the occasion, Dr. Khurshid Ahmed DG National Veterinary Laboratory MNSFR said, “Agriculture is a priority area for the Government of Pakistan to ensure food security for all segments of the society.” He added, “Food Safety is inevitable to prevent food-borne illnesses and helps reduce the burden on public health infrastructure and for your products to reach export markets. Therefore, I would like to appreciate the work UNIDO is doing and the hard work all the departments are carrying out on the ground on daily basis to ensure the public has access to safe food.”
The representatives of KPFSHFA, LDD, and the LCB also shared their remarks on food safety at the occasion. Ms. Lubna Tajik, Lead National Project Coordinator PAFAID, shared the achievements of the project and highlighted the contributions of UNIDO and its public and private partners in food safety. The event concluded with the screening of a video in recognition of World Food Safety Day.