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On World Food Day, 22% Of Pakistanis Are Malnourished

On World Food Day, 22% Of Pakistanis Are Malnourished

Zaynah Maroof

World Food Day is celebrated internationally on the 16th of October, and is seen as an annual call for awareness and action on behalf of the poor and hungry people around the globe-but how does food insecurity affect Pakistani people?

43% of Pakistan’s population does not have access to healthy food and are lacking in nutrition. From this percentage, 18-22% face an alarming lack of food. Out of 113 countries, Pakistan is ranked 78th most food secure, falling behind both India and Bangladesh.

According to the Ministry of Finance, Pakistan is an agrarian economy with agriculture being the second largest sector and accounting for 21% of GDP, yet in spite of being productive in the food department, so many people go to bed at night without any meals.

Poverty is one of the main reasons for food insecurity in Pakistan, as 50% of the population lives below the poverty line. Most of Pakistan’s budget is also spent on national security rather than focusing on feeding the people.

The Tharparkar region in Sindh, Pakistan is one of the most undernourished and poor regions in the world, as most of the region is desert land with largely underdeveloped infrastructure. In the entire province of Sindh itself, 50 % of children below 5 years old are stunted and 19 percent are severely malnourished.

In regions such as these, the aftermath of natural disasters and the lack of post-disaster support have affected food subsidies which resulted in food insecurity.

Furthermore, institutional corruption and policy gaps at government level are also factors that increase hunger and poverty.

To top it all off, 40% of food is wasted in Pakistan. So on one end, you have people dying of hunger, while on the other end, you have an even greater number of people with the privilege of wasting large quantities of food.

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