Peer Mohammad Amir Qureshi
A persistent rise in the cost of goods and services within an economy is referred to as inflation. In many nations, including Pakistan, it is a significant economic problem. Everyone in society is impacted by inflation, including low-income households and businesses, and it can have a negative impact on a nation’s overall economic growth ,health and development.For many years, Pakistan has struggled with a persistent inflation issue. Since the early 2000s, the country has seen high inflation rates, with some years seeing inflation rates higher than 10% annually. The inflation rate has been especially high recently, peaking at 14.6% in January 2020.Malnutrition has been exacerbated in Pakistan by inflation, a significant economic problem that affects vulnerable groups like children and expectant mothers.Prices of necessities like food and medicine have significantly increased as a result of Pakistan’s high inflation rates. By raising food prices and lowering households’ and individuals’ purchasing power, inflation can worsen the issue of food insecurity. When food prices rise, people can be compelled to eat less or switch to cheaper, less nutrient-dense foods, which might worsen malnutrition.Because of this, it has become challenging for many people, especially those who are poor, to obtain appropriate nutrition. Increasing from 18.4% in 2014 to 24.3% in 2019, the proportion of undernourished individuals in Pakistan, according to the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO). One of the main reasons that inflation has contributed to malnutrition in Pakistan is the increase in food prices. Inflation has driven up the prices of basic food items, such as wheat, sugar, and vegetables. This has made it difficult for many families to afford a nutritious diet, particularly in rural areas where people often rely on their own crops for food., Inflation has added to the high cost of healthcare in addition to the high cost of food. Due of this, it has become challenging for many people to get necessary healthcare services, especially those who are poor. Untreated illnesses may result from this, which may exacerbate malnutrition and other health issues According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 36% of children under the age of five in Pakistan are stunted, meaning they are too short for their age due to chronic malnutrition. Malnutrition can lead to a range of health problems, including weakened immune systems, poor cognitive development, and increased risk of infectious diseases.It’s critical to address the root causes of the hunger problem in Pakistan, particularly inflation. To address the underlying causes of inflation, the government must move swiftly by cutting back on its borrowing and increasing investment in the economy’s infrastructure and other sectors. In especially in rural regions where the need is highest, it is crucial to enhance access to basic healthcare services and nutrition programmes To address the interrelated challenges of food insecurity, inflation, and malnutrition in Pakistan, it is important to take a comprehensive approach that addresses the underlying causes of these issues. This may include measures to increase agricultural productivity, improve access to markets and storage facilities, and promote policies that support the affordability and availability of nutritious food for all. Additionally, addressing poverty and unemployment, improving healthcare and education, and promoting gender equality can also play important roles in improving food security, reducing inflation, and combating malnutrition in Pakistan.It is also critical to expand access to basic healthcare services and nutrition programmes. Then and only then can Pakistan hope to address this enduring and detrimental economic issue and enhance the health and welfare of its populace.An all-encompassing strategy involving numerous stakeholders, including governmental organisations, healthcare professionals, community organisations, and individuals would be necessary to address malnutrition, inflation and food security in Pakist and will have significant impact on Pakistan’s ability to improve food security, lower inflation, and fight hunger.

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