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Food insecurity plagues Pakistan

Food insecurity in Pakistan has continued to rise over the last decade, and most recently it's presumed that 48.6 percent of Pakistan's 165 million people don't have enough food to maintain a healthy lifestyle, according to a 2010 report from The World Food Programme (WFP) and the Sustainable Policy Development Institute (SDPI).

"Food security in Pakistan has deteriorated since 2003. The conditions for food security are inadequate in 61 percent [of] districts (80 out of 131)... This is a sharp increase from 2003, when conditions for food security were inadequate in 45 percent [of] districts (54 out of 120),” WFP said in the report.

Although an official number hasn't been given, food security in the regions along the Pakistan-Afghan border is thought to be much higher than the overall country, as continued fighting with the Taliban has worsened conditions, WFP said in the report.

Many humanitarian groups have found that there is food - 24.2 million tons of wheat was produced last year, though low incomes prevent citizens from having access to it, according to the news source.

Those most affected are women and children. Shahid Awan, a nutritional officer at the UN Children's fund said he's seen over 95,000 "severely malnutritioned" children in recent years.

"The diarrhea and other infections so many children suffer is just a symptom. The root-cause of the problem is acute malnutrition, and it is this we need to tackle urgently," Awan told the news outlet.
 
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