Due to devastating floods and flawed country politics, around 15-16 percent of Pakistan’s citizens are reeling under food insecurity and the situation continues to worsen with each passing day. Describing Pakistan’s food crisis as the worst in the South Asian country’s history, the deputy representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Farrukh Toirov, said the nation’s situation has only deteriorated due to the covid pandemic and recent floods, Dawn reported.
The FAO official made the comment while speaking at a seminar on ‘Eliminating Poverty and Food Security,’ Dawn reported. “9.5 acres of agricultural land across the country has been inundated by flood water and government statistics show that around 4.5 million acres of crops have been significantly damaged,” he said.
Toirov further called for cooperation between international partners and the government of Pakistan to tackle the poverty crisis. Dawn reported quoting Chris Kaye, the country director of the World Food Program who said tapping into the country’s agricultural production capacity is the need of the hour.
“345 million people in 82 countries were facing food insecurity and the number was 282 million at the beginning of 2022 and 135 million before Covid-19,” he said adding that the number of people exposed to famine-like situations has increase 10 times. in the last five years and 4 million people are in stage IV of the famine in Pakistan making it a critical situation for the country. Separately, Irshad Khan Abbasi, head of innovation and integration, at the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) said the South Asian country holds the 92nd position on the Global Hunger Index (GH).
High food prices, lack of rainfall, drought, and livestock diseases have all added to the food insecurity in Pakistan. In addition, seawater intrusion in Pakistan’s coastal areas also threatens food security in Pakistan, IIFRAS reported. Seawater reduces the productivity of fertile agricultural lands causing food shortages, and other economic woes. It further triggers the decay of natural resources such as livestock, vegetation, land, and many others.
Food insecurity affects women, children and rural households leading to socio-economic inequalities and causing an increase in the number of food insecure households. (ANI)
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