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World Food Day: Pakistan Hunger Rising
Posted On 11/01/2011 12:06:42 by Leo-king

World hunger data collected from 2006 to 2009 shows that Pakistan's hunger index score has worsened this year to 20.7 (based on 2009 data and reported in 2011) after three priorconsecutive years of improvementInternational Food Research Institute's GHI (Global Hunger Index) score for Pakistan improved from 21.7 in 2008 to 21.0 in 2009 to 19.1 in 2010, and its world ranking has dropped to 59 in 2011 from 52 in 2010. It was ranked 61 in 2008 and 58 in 2009 on a list of 81+ nations.

Among other South Asian nations, India's GHI score improved to 23.7 in 2011 to where it was in three years earlier in 2008 after worsening from 23.7 (2008) to 23.9 (2009) to 24.1 (2010). India's ranking remained at 67 in 2011, the same as it was in 2010 but worse than 66 in 2008 and 65 in 2009. 

Year..2008(2006).....2009(2007).....2010(2008)......2011(2009)

Pakistan GHI...21.7...............21.0.................19.1..................20.7 

Pak Ranking....61.................58...................52....................59 

India GHI......23.7...............23.9.................24.1..................23.7

India Ranking..66.................65....................67...................67

Since taking the reins of power more than three years ago, the coalition government in Islamabad, which is led by the Pakistan Peoples' Party, has been increasing the support prices of wheat and other agricultural commodities every year, a policy at least partly driven by politics of patronage to enrich the PPP's rural landowning constituency.

In 2008, the current government pushed the procurement price of wheat up from Rs. 625 per 40 kg to Rs. 950 per 40 kg. This action immediately triggered inflationary pressures that have continued to persist as food accounts for just over 40% ofPakistan's consumer price index. According to State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) analysis, cumulative price of wheat surged by 120 per cent since 2008, far higher than the 40 per cent between 2003 and 2007. it is also many times greater than the international market price increase of 22 per cent for wheat in the same period. Similarly, sugar prices have surged 184 per cent higher since 2008, compared with 46 per cent increase during 2003-07. 

The World Food Program (WFP) officials agree that decline in food security in Pakistan is now an issue of affordability rather than availability. With stagflation and rising unemployment, growing numbers of people simply lack the income to buy sufficient food for themselves and their families, resulting in under-nutrition and growing hunger. 

Tags: World Food



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