More than 84pc households in Pakistan are food secure: survey


Published in Dawn on April  21,  2020

ISLAMABAD: More than 84 per cent households in a Pakistan Social and Living Standards Measurement (PSLM) survey have reported that they are food secure, while 16pc households are experiencing moderate or severe food insecurity in overall Pakistan.

The PSLM survey report 218-19, conducted by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (FBS), covered 25,940 households across rural and urban communities for collecting information on a range of social sector issues — education, health and food security by facilities and services. It is eleventh round of PSLM surveys since 2004 for monitoring of development plans at the provincial/district level in the overall context of MDGs (Millennium Development Goals) and now SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals).

The calculation of food security is included in the report for the first time. It was revealed further that moderate or severe food insecurity is more in the rural areas as compared to the urban areas.

Sindh witnessed the highest level of moderate or severe food insecurity followed by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Punjab, respectively.

The survey reveals that more than one half of the population of 10 years and older — 61pc in 2018-19 as compared to 60pc in 2013-14 — has ever attended school. Similarly, overall 30pc children aged 5 to 16 are out of school in Pakistan as compared to 33pc in 2013-14, showing a overall declining trend. The percentage is highest in Balochistan and lowest in Punjab.

Out of school consists of children, who have never been to school and those children who attended school but left afterwards. At the same time, 24pc children age (5 -16) years have never been to school in Pakistan, this percentage is highest in Balochistan, followed by Sindh and lowest in Punjab. Dropout rates are lower and have almost same pattern in all provinces.

The overall literacy has increased to 60pc from 58pc in 2013-14. There is increasing trend in provinces except Balochistan. The report reflects increasing trends in indicators of education such as literacy rate for male increased to 71pc and 49pc for female. In the youth, the literacy rate increased to 72pc from 71pc in 2013-14.

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