Mari Petroleum is launching its mobile food dastarkhawan which will provide food to needy people. This pilot project will feed more than 200,000 people per annum.
Mari Petroleum Company Limited is a Pakistani petroleum exploration and production company based in Islamabad, Pakistan. The company is controlled by the Fauji Foundation with 40 percent share. It is operating the country’s second-largest gas reservoir at Mari Field, District Ghotki, Sindh.
Mari Mobile Dastarkhawan Pilot Project
‘Mari Mobile Dastarkhwan’ is a collaborative effort between Mari Petroleum Company Limited (MPCL) and Comprehensive Disaster Response Services (CDRS) to distribute cooked meals to needy people at various locations in Islamabad and Rawalpindi, through a custom-branded meal truck. CDRS is headed by a world-renowned humanitarian – Mr. Todd Shea.
Food distribution locations initially identified by CDRS include Taramari Chowk, Mehrabadi Community (Peripheral to F-11 Sector, Islamabad), and Faizabad.
Mobile meals truck will deliver food two times a day, providing a hearty cooked breakfast and dinner to the needy people i.e., daily wage laborers, street children, and people who are in search of employment away from their villages, as well as those residing at “Panah Gah.”
Through this 1-year pilot project, 213,000 people will be provided with quality cooked food annually (600 people per day or 300 people each meal).
The project will serve iftar & dinner to 500 needy people per day during the month of Ramadan.
Additionally, 400 food packs will also be distributed to the deserving families at a cost of Rs2735 per pack.
Upon successful completion of the pilot project, it will be scaled up or replicated in other parts of the country including MPCL operational areas.
Speaking at the MoU signing ceremony, CEO Mari Petroleum Mr. Faheem Haider said, “The current status of malnutrition and poverty prevailing in the country is alarming despite improvements in other socioeconomic indicators. Experts agree that a two-way link exists between malnutrition and poverty, creating a vicious cycle with each fueling the other.”
Mari Petroleum, even in the past, has done such high-impact projects in the thematic areas of education, health, water supply schemes, infrastructure development, etc.
It is a welcome effort at a time of the pandemic when according to the World Bank, poverty in the country has gone up and the third wave of the pandemic is going to hit the people worst, giving them the economic shock that could land them in poverty.
This is like the government’s new ‘Koi Bhuka Na Soye’ Programme’ launched on 10th March. The government, to protect the poor people from inflation and price-hike, would initiate a revolutionary program of providing direct subsidy to 30 million families – around half of the country’s population from June.
Under the program, the poor and labor classes would be provided free meal boxes twice a day through mobile trucks at various points of the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad.
According to the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World report for 2020, the prevalence of undernourishment in Pakistan is 12.3% and an estimated 26 million people in Pakistan are undernourished or food insecure.
Thus, Pakistan needs more of such public-private partnerships to enable upward mobility in the country.