Pakistanis hungry as steep hike in food prices

September 12th, 2011 - 1:03 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, Sep 12 (IANS) Food prices have shot up in Pakistan by a whopping 74 percent in past three years, leading to an increase in hunger in the country, the authorities say.

Official findings showed that the cost of basic food items went up by 74 percent from June 2008 to 2011.

“Given the continued sharp increase in prices of staples, mainly wheat, vegetable ghee and sugar, during the second half of 2010, and follow up in the first half of 2011, the number of people suffering from chronic hunger is likely to have increased further,” the Planning Commission said.

There was an increase of 74 percent - from Rs.960 to Rs.1,670 - in the price for 2,150 calories, which is needed for sustenance.

The wheat flour price went up by 78 percent in three years and that of sugar by 163 percent. Meat, pulses and milk prices went up by 103 percent, 89 percent and 85 percent, respectively.

Pakistan has a population of over 170 million.

The Planning Commission in its annual report on the change in the cost of the food basket in 2010-11 said: “Given the national scenario, conventionally agreed key risk factors underlying causes of vulnerability, such as poverty hunger, income inequality and now food price have added new dimensions to vulnerability.”

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