January 25, 2021
Cargill and Rizq in partnership to combat food insecurity in Pakistan
Cargill and Rizq, a social organisation in Pakistan, have come together with the shared goal of ending hunger across by setting up a food bank network.
A groundbreaking ceremony was held on January 13 for the first-ever Cargill RizqBank, in Lyari, Karachi - one of the largest food insecure communities in Pakistan. The Rizq Cargill ecosystem will work to create a food secure Lyari, reduce food wastage and will be able to serve about 200,000 meals in the community, annually.
The RizqBank will offer four key services to help eradicate food insecurity and end hunger in slum communities across the country. This includes RizqDaig, distribution of food within the community, RizqRation, identifying and delivering monthly food supplies to food insecure families and establishing RizqBachao, a community center that collects, stores and distributes excess food to low-income families and Rizq Future Generation Program, mobilises youth from schools and universities to support activities of zero waste and zero hunger. Once established in Lyari, Karachi, this model will be replicated at key locations across the nation through this partnership. This will serve as a blueprint for stakeholders in the food ecosystem to come together and create self-sustaining communities.
In phase two, the programme will progress towards setting up the RizqXchange, a collaborative initiative to mobilise resources through a network of RizqBanks. The Rizq Xchange is enabled by ShareRizq platform, cloud-foodbanking technology that connects people who want to donate food, with distributors that are giving food to beneficiaries in real-time.
Advancing its corporate purpose of nourishing communities in a safe, responsible and sustainable way, Cargill has contributed seed funding and will assist Rizq with technical advisory services to efficiently create and run the food bank operations. Cargill employees will also engage as volunteers at the Cargill RizqBank. Rizq will manage the on-ground deployment and operations of this innovative model. They will also provide the overall strategy for deployment of the Cargill RizqBank and Rizq Xchange as part of this initiative.
"Around 100 million people in Pakistan continue to face food insecurity, which is about 50% of the total population. Being an agriculturally resource-rich country, such prevalence of hunger is unnecessary and unacceptable. This initiative is in line with our global commitment to fight hunger and curb the menace of malnutrition in countries where we operate. We are proud to partner with Rizq for this initiative and take this mission forward," said Imran Nasrullah, country president of Cargill Pakistan.
"Pakistan is one of the richest breadbaskets in the world, yet she continues to struggle to sustain herself. Such prevalence of hunger, despite the abundance of resources, highlights stark issues in our food system and the reasons due to which such issues come to exist. Any resolve to end hunger not only needs to be systemic but, more importantly, needs to be based on human values. We are proud that a partner like Cargill has come on board and is helping us in our mission to create a hunger-free Pakistan, " said Qasim Javaid Khan, chief operating officer of Rizq.