Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 2

Hungry

October 30, 2016


On October 20, Bloomberg, the financial data and media company, declared the Pakistan Stock
Exchange to be Asias best-performing equity market. On October 18, Prime Minister Nawaz
Sharif mistakenly claimed that his government had brought down the price of potatoes from
Rs80 a kilo in 2013 to Rs25 a kilo.
On October 15, Minister for Finance Senator Ishaq Dar congratulated Prime Minister Nawaz
Sharif and the nation as the foreign exchange reserves of the country reached the historic high of
$24.5 billion.
On October 12, the 2016 Global Hunger Index (GHI) was published by the International Food
Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), an international agriculture research centre. The 2016 GHI
measures hunger in 118 developing countries (based on four component indicators).
As per the 2016 GHI, Pakistan is among the eleven worst performing countries. With Pakistan at
number 11 from the bottom, the other countries in our group are: Central African Republic,
Chad, Zambia, Haiti, Madagascar, Yemen, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, Timor and Niger.
Hunger is usually understood to refer to the distress associated with lack of food. The GHI
attempts to capture food deprivation based on four component indictors undernourishment,
child stunting, child wasting and child mortality.
Heres how hungry Pakistanis really are. According to the International Food Policy Research
Institute, 22 percent of Pakistans population is undernourished (defined as inadequate intake of
food in terms of either quantity or quality). Thats 43 million hungry Pakistanis.
Heres how hungry Pakistanis really are. Forty-five percent of Pakistani children under the age
of five have stunted growth. What that means is that 45 percent of Pakistani children have low
height-for-age (in simpler terms, 45 percent of Pakistani children who are, say, four years of age
have the height of a two or three year old).
Yes, there are 9.8 million stunted children in this country of ours (the world total for stunted
children is 159 million). The only two countries on the face of the planet that have more stunted
children are India and Nigeria. India has 48 million stunted children and Nigeria has 10 million.
Imagine; nearly 40 percent of all stunted children in the world live in Pakistan and India. The
reasons behind stunted children are poor feeding practices, and poor maternal nutrition.
Heres how hungry Pakistanis really are. More than ten percent of Pakistani children who are
under five years of age suffer from childhood wasting. What that means is that more than ten
percent of Pakistani children have low weight-for-age (in simpler terms, more than ten percent of
Pakistani children who are, say, four years of age have a weight of a two or three year old).

Heres how hungry Pakistanis really are. According to the latest State of Children in Pakistan
report, one in every fourteen Pakistani children (7.1 percent) die before their first birthday, and
one in every eleven (9.1 percent) do not survive to their fight birthday. Furthermore, Pakistan
has one of the highest rates of first day deaths and stillbirths at 40 per 1,000 births.
Intriguingly, the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) and the Global Hunger Index (GHI) are
correlated. What that means is that corruption and hunger occur together. What that means is
that there is a high degree of relationship between corruption and hunger.
Who said, Ive known what it is to be hungry, but I always went right to a restaurant?
The writer is a columnist based in Islamabad.
Email: farrukh15@hotmail.com. Twitter: @saleemfarrukh