Asia is the world’s largest continent, covering approximately 30 percent of the Earth’s land area. It is also the world’s most populous continent, with roughly 60 percent of the total population. Secondly Asia is considered as the fastest growing economic region, as well as the largest continental economy. Interestingly the Asian continent is a host of a dozen wealthiest economies in terms of GDP per capita, but despite witnessing a robust economic growth rate during the recent years pervasive hunger remains a problem in the region. According to a new report from the U.N.’s food security agency, nearly half a billion people in Asia are hungry and lack access to adequate nourishing food, including in the region’s largest cities. “While Asia has experienced rapid economic development, little headway has been made tackling hunger and an estimated 486 million people remain undernourished”, the report said.
Natural disasters such as floods, tropical storms and long periods of drought are cited as the main causes and consequences for the hungry poor in developing countries. Drought is already one of the most common causes of food shortages in the world. Unfortunately Pakistan is also one of the countries most affected by disaster and climate change in the world. There are certain areas in the southern part of the country where effects of desert famine and poverty have taken heavy toll on the lives of people causing hunger, death and diseases. According to the Food Security and Nutrition Strategic Review for Pakistan, food insecurity is among the greatest challenges for Pakistan. The overall Prevalence of Undernourishment (PoU) is estimated to be about 18 percent of the entire population. According to World Food Programme (WFP) food insecurity persists but food production is sufficient to feed all Pakistanis.
On the other hand poverty is one of the key drivers of hunger in Pakistan. As the World Bank indicators in 2015 showed, 50 percent of people in Pakistan live below the poverty line. The World Food Programme in a report stated that 43 percent of the country’s population remains food insecure, and out of that, 18 percent of people are facing an alarming dearth of food. Wastage of food is another important factor that is hugely contributing to this hidden menace (Hunger). According to reports an estimated 36 million tones of food is wasted in Pakistan every year. This includes the sum of food wastage and food lost. Analysts believe that price hike of food items is another important factor that adversely affects the economically downtrodden segment of the society in our country because they cannot afford to buy enough food to sustain their lives. In light of these shocking revelations, one hopes that the government and the people at the helm of affairs should realize their responsibilities concerning to poor and hungry people and take necessary steps to eradicate hunger & poverty from the country.