The consumer price inflation for food prices in Pakistan was 35.5 percent in December on year on year basis – the highest in South Asia after Sri Lanka with 64.4 percent, says the World Bank.
The Bank in its latest, “Food Security Update”, stated that the high incidence of climatological shocks, depletion of foreign currency reserves, and depreciation of local currencies keep food inflation high and make healthy food less affordable in South Asia.
The report noted that in December 2022, year-on-year consumer price inflation for food prices was 7.9 percent in Bangladesh, 7.4 percent in Nepal, 35.5 percent in Pakistan, and 64.4 percent in Sri Lanka.
Last summer, floods caused by higher-than-normal monsoon rains in some parts of South Asia and less-than-normal rainfall in other parts widely disrupted food production. In Pakistan, floods killed more than 11 million heads of livestock and destroyed more than 9.4 million acres of cropland between June and August 2022 in the most food-insecure provinces of Balochistan and Sindh.
According to the WFP, 6 million people (30 percent of the population analyzed) experienced acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 3+), and this was projected to increase to 8.5 million between September and December 2022.
In Afghanistan, lack of access to basic services and food insecurity are resulting in increased cross-border population movements. The situation requires continued focus on preparedness and response activities in neighboring countries, especially Iran and Pakistan, it added.