Food Security and Climate Change in Pakistan

Pakistan a food insecure country

Introduction

Food Security According to the United Nations’ Committee on World Food Security, food security is the accessibility and availability of healthy nutrient-rich food to all people at any time with which they can fulfill their hunger and go through their day-to-day routine.
Food security is further described as the availability, access, utilization, and stability of food.

Food insecurity: Food insecurity is inaccessibility and unavailability of healthy food to any age group because of poverty or some other reasons such as the absence of resources.

Climate change: Climate change is variations in the pattern of regional and global weather induced by anthropogenic activities resulting in global warming that gradually affecting each aspect of the ecosystems.
These three terms have a very strong connection. Due to changing climate, the vegetation is disturbed, frequent flood by climate change causes loss of cattle, livelihood, and human lives. These factors are putting stress on the accessibility and availability of healthy food at all levels.

Food Security of Pakistan

Pakistan is targeting to meet the biggest challenge of food security and nutrition of Sustainable Development Goal 2: Zero Hunger by the end of 2030.

The report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has given estimation that in Pakistan the Prevalence of Undernourishment is up to 20.3% and 40.0 million people are not consuming adequate food.
The prevalence of child malnutrition is found at the highest levels in Pakistan. Published research reported that in accordance with National Nutrition Survey, the statistics of children include underweight – 33%, stunted – nearly 44%, wasted- 15%, anemic – 50%, and iron-deficient- 33%.

Pakistan- A Food Insecure Country

In Global Hunger Index, Pakistan is securing 106th rank in the list of 119 countries. Currently, the poverty rate in Pakistan is up 24.3% which will rise up to 26%. The reasons for the increasing poverty rate could be due to pandemic coronavirus, changing climatic conditions, etc. The Government of Pakistan adopted a smart lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic to prevent deaths from hunger. However, the key causes for food insecurity in Pakistan are the absence of money source, increasing population, poor infrastructure, and absence of strategies to deal with poverty.

Impacts of Climate change on Food Security in Pakistan

Climate change is showing its effects on the environment of Pakistan. Increased temperature, floods, less rainfall, heavy rains, water scarcity all induced by climate changes are affecting the agricultural system of the country. The country produces major crops yet a notable percentage of the population is living under the poverty line and not having access to healthy or enough food.

Conclusion

Ongoing climatic change is worsening the situation of food security in Pakistan. The pastoralists in Pakistan are facing difficulties in the production of livestock due to climate change, urbanization, and some other factors. The poverty and unemployment rate in Pakistan have increased from previous years. The government has started initiatives such as billion tree tsunami projects that will assist in tackling climate changes as well as create employment opportunities.

Recommendation

Almost 16% population of Pakistan is facing food insecurity. As the Government is doing efforts to combat climate changes, the focus should also be on improved infrastructure so farmers can have easy access to urban markets. The inflation rate should be taken into consideration.
People should need to change their living style and avoid wasting food.

Also, check out Consequences of Climate Change on Pastoralists in Pakistan

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