6m Pakistanis face floods-induced food insecurity: WB

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2023

ISLAMABAD: As many as six million people faced acute food insecurity across Pakistan after the disastrous floods, a recent report issued by the World Bank said.

“According to the World Food Programme (WFP), six million people (30 percent of the population analysed) experienced acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 3+), and this was projected to increase to 8.5 million between September and December,” the World Bank’s food security update (January 2023) said.

In Pakistan, floods killed more than 11 million heads of livestock and destroyed more than 9.4 million acres of cropland between June and August 2022 in the most food-insecure provinces of Balochistan and Sindh, the update added.

It said the food inflation in the country has also increased significantly. The food inflation rose from 8.3 percent in October 2021 and 15.3 percent in March 2022 to 31.7 percent in September 2022 and then 35 percent in December 2022. The high incidence of climatological shocks, depletion of foreign currency reserves, and depreciation of local currencies keep food inflation high and make healthy food less affordable in South Asia.

“In December 2022, year-on-year consumer price inflation for food prices was 7.9 percent in Bangladesh, 7.4 percent in Nepal, 35.5 percent in Pakistan, and 64.4 percent in Sri Lanka. Last summer, the floods caused by higher-than-normal monsoon rains in some parts of South Asia and less-than-normal rainfall in other parts widely disrupted food production,” the update added.