“The gap between the rich and poor has got so much widened that one of the obstacles to solving extreme poverty now is extreme wealth.” I am quoting as saying by directors of Oxfam (Humanitarian Org-NGO), Ben Phillips.
This is bitter truth that the annual income of 100 richest people in the world is sufficient to wipe out poverty for the entire world, not one time, but four times over! Even today, more than 20,000 children die every day in different parts of the world due to hunger, under nourishment, lack of medicine, unavailability of clean water, poor sanitation and similar reasons mainly associated with poverty.
That was one of the reasons that push the world leaders from 193 countries to adopt sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 25th September 2015. Those countries have pledged to mobilize efforts to end all forms of poverty and fight inequalities while ensuring that no one is left behind.
SDGs are unique in that way that broader in their scope of eradicating all forms of poverty by calling for action by all countries, rich and poor, to promote prosperity while protecting the planet. There are 17 development goals, which are universal, integrated, and transformative.
Poverty and hunger are most crucial issues that place on priority in as SDG 1 and SDG 2 respectively. These development goals pledge that by 2030, end hunger and ensure access by all people, in particular, the poor and people in vulnerable situations including infants, to safe, nutritious and sufficient food all year round.
It is the most interesting yet painful fact that hunger has a woman’s face. In nearly two-thirds of countries, women are more likely than men to report food insecurity. Women and girls prepare most of the world’s household meals and grow much of their food. Globally, almost one-third of employed women work in agriculture, not accounting for self-employed and unpaid family workers. Yet, only 13 percent of women are landholders.
When times are tough, gender discrimination means women and girls may be the first to eat less, even as they work harder to secure food for their households. For pregnant and lactating women, inadequate food and poor nutrition impose a risk of anemia, a leading cause of death during childbirth.
Pakistan may have South Asia’s second-largest economy but it fares considerably worse than its neighbors when it comes to tackling hunger. Here are the top 10 facts about hunger in Pakistan. According to the World Food Programme, 43 percent of Pakistan’s population faces food insecurity. Of this number, 18 percent of people in Pakistan severely lack access to food. This is linked to the fact that most of these people are heavily dependent on agriculture for a living. Pakistan ranked 106 out of 119 countries on the Global Hunger Index (GHI) with a score of 32.6, the GHI is calculated according to four primary indicators: the proportion of the malnourished population, the frequency of child mortality, stiltedness of children and height to weight ratios of children.
In the province of Sindh, 50 percent of children below 5 years old are stunted and 19 percent are severely malnourished. The region’s intense food insecurity stems from lack of investment in the infrastructure and population coupled with the flood that hit Sindh especially hard.
It’s a matter of fact that Pakistan has one of the most malnourished and poorest regions in the world, which is the Tharparkar region in the Sindh province. The region is desert land, with the majority of inhabitants depending on seasonal rainfall. The situation makes Pakistan ranked 106 out of 119 countries on the Global Hunger Index (GHI) with a score of 32.6, second only to Afghanistan in the region.
I am just highlighting the hard fact with hope and strong beliefs which is based on the reality that the amount of efforts and resources required to eliminate poverty and hunger is not beyond our reach. Our planet faces massive economic, social and environmental challenges, to combat these, we as a civil society put our government and authorities responsible and accountable to priorities human development, created local version of SDGs, it implications and implementation strategies and peruse unprecedented opportunity to eliminate extreme poverty and hunger to follow the world on a sustainable path.
About Samreen Khan Ghauri:
She is a Multi-Media journalist, Researcher, and development practitioner, she is passionate about advocating Human/women rights, she can be accessed on [email protected] & @samreen_ideas