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Pakistan, Afghanistan Among Global Food Shortage “Hotspots”: Report

If the economic and political situation deteriorate further, two United Nations agencies, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP), have predicted that Pakistan will experience extreme food insecurity that will likely get worse in the following months. Afghanistan and Pak have been designated as “early warning hotspots,” according to Khaama Press.

According to Noman Hossain, a freelance journalist, warnings on Pak and Afghanistan were made in a report that was jointly released by the FAO and the WFP from June to November.

In its report, the World Food Programme (WFP) stated that “Pakistan, the Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the Syrian Arab Republic are hotspots with extremely high concern, and the warning is also extended to Myanmar in this edition.

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Situation getting harder for Pakistan:

Pakistan’s financial rescue from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has been postponed for the previous seven months in addition to political unrest. According to a Khaama Press article, it must pay USD 77.5 billion over the following three years. The payback sum is “substantial” when compared to Pak’s projected GDP of USD 350 billion in 2021.

Between September and December 2023, more than 8.5 million people in Pak are anticipated to experience severe food insecurity. In Afghanistan, 70% of the population does not have two healthy meals each day. According to Khaama Press, financial and political difficulties are making it more difficult for households to acquire food and other necessities.

According to the paper, if the country’s political and economic crisis and the security situation in border areas worsen, coal and grain export income may experience a fall. In August 2021, the Taliban took over as authority of Afghanistan. The Taliban-led administration has not received international recognition. In the meantime, Pak’s economic situation has gotten worse due to political unrest between the army, courts, and politicians.

Pakistan lacks the funds to safeguard food imports aboard ships stranded at its ports due to the current political crisis in the nation. The result has been a lack of necessities like wheat flour. The government established distribution points all around the nation in March and April to give citizens free flour in an effort to lessen their financial burden in the face of growing costs. The campaign, however, created issues in some locations when stampedes broke out, killing and wounding people.

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