Asset 1

Global Go To Think Tank Index (GGTTI) 2020 launched                    111,75 Think Tanks across the world ranked in different categories.                SDPI is ranked 90th among “Top Think Tanks Worldwide (non-US)”.           SDPI stands 11th among Top Think Tanks in South & South East Asia & the Pacific (excluding India).            SDPI notches 33rd position in “Best New Idea or Paradigm Developed by A Think Tank” category.                SDPI remains 42nd in “Best Quality Assurance and Integrity Policies and Procedure” category.              SDPI stands 49th in “Think Tank to Watch in 2020”.            SDPI gets 52nd position among “Best Independent Think Tanks”.                           SDPI becomes 63rd in “Best Advocacy Campaign” category.                   SDPI secures 60th position in “Best Institutional Collaboration Involving Two or More Think Tanks” category.                       SDPI obtains 64th position in “Best Use of Media (Print & Electronic)” category.               SDPI gains 66th position in “Top Environment Policy Tink Tanks” category.                SDPI achieves 76th position in “Think Tanks With Best External Relations/Public Engagement Program” category.                    SDPI notches 99th position in “Top Social Policy Think Tanks”.            SDPI wins 140th position among “Top Domestic Economic Policy Think Tanks”.               SDPI is placed among special non-ranked category of Think Tanks – “Best Policy and Institutional Response to COVID-19”.                                            Owing to COVID-19 outbreak, SDPI staff is working from home from 9am to 5pm five days a week. All our staff members are available on phone, email and/or any other digital/electronic modes of communication during our usual official hours. You can also find all our work related to COVID-19 in orange entries in our publications section below.    The Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) is pleased to announce its Twenty-third Sustainable Development Conference (SDC) from 14 – 17 December 2020 in Islamabad, Pakistan. The overarching theme of this year’s Conference is Sustainable Development in the Times of COVID-19. Read more…       FOOD SECIRITY DASHBOARD: On 4th Nov, SDPI has shared the first prototype of Food Security Dashboard with Dr Moeed Yousaf, the Special Assistant to Prime Minister on  National Security and Economic Outreach in the presence of stakeholders, including Ministry of National Food Security and Research. Provincial and district authorities attended the event in person or through zoom. The dashboard will help the government monitor and regulate the supply chain of essential food commodities.

The News

Published Date: Aug 11, 2011

HUNGER STALKS MILLIONS AS FOOD INSECURITY GROWS

Saleem-ud-Din, 35, was happy to have been able to buy some cooked lentils as well as six ‘rotis’ (flat bread) for his family of six.

“Today we will have a feast. Usually we share two or three ‘rotis’, at best, between us – but someone put a Rs100 note in my bowl, and along with the other smaller notes and coins, it is enough to buy a proper meal,” Saleem, a disabled beggar, said, according to a report by IRIN, a UN information unit.

Beggars like him represent the most visible face of hunger and poverty in Pakistan. Their precise number is unknown but is estimated to run into millions, according to media reports.

The number tends to rise in major cities ahead of the Muslim month of fasting, Ramadan, which began in most of the country on 2 August and during which people tend to give more charity.

But beggars alone do not represent the food insecure. According to a 2010 report by the Islamabad-

based Sustainable Policy Development Institute (SDPI) in partnership with the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, 48.6 percent of Pakistan’s 165 million people are food insecure.

“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),” said the report.

It said the food security situation is worst (67.7 percent) in the conflict-ridden Federally Administered Tribal Areas along the Pakistan-Afghan border, followed by Balochistan (61.2 percent). “Although it is difficult to develop conclusive empirical proof, the strong overlap of food insecurity and militancy provides considerable evidence of a potential nexus.”

SDPI head Abid Qaiyum Suleri said “poverty and hunger are a security concern as a strong linkage between food security, hunger, poverty, and vulnerability to disasters can be established.”

Food insecurity, agencies say, is linked to prices rather than availability. “Many people have simply no access to food because of their low income levels. Although Pakistan is producing sufficient food, and this year 24.2 million tons of wheat was producedómore than the requirementófood insecurity has increased,” WFP spokesman Amjad Jamal said.

“The government pricing policies, with the wheat price going up by 131 percent per 40kg [a bag], from

Rs550 to Rs950, have impacted 35 percent of the population in urban areas and a wide range of consumers in rural areas, where 40 percent of households depend on wages and salaries, 16 percent on non-agricultural activities and five percent on foreign remittances.

All these groups have been severely hit by the price hike,” Jamal added.

The government says the reasons for the price increase were “to encourage wheat cultivation so that the production target of 25 million tons could be met and food security for the country achieved”.

It says the move, by bringing Pakistani wheat prices in line with those in neighbouring countries, will “help curb smuggling”.

“Atta (wheat flour) cost less than Rs15 per kilogram three years ago. It now costs over Rs30,” Dilnoor Bibi, 40, a widow, said. She said that on her income of Rs5,000 a month as a washerwoman, she is “barely able to feed my three children, and doctors say my three-year-old, who is often sick, is severely underweight and needs more food which I cannot provide.”

Experts who work in the field see hunger everywhere. “Men, women and children all suffer malnourishment but the impact on the health of women and children is most acute,” Shahid Awan, a nutritional officer at the UN Children’s Fund, told IRIN.

He said 95,000 “severely malnourished” children had been detected in the country, and that many women suffered anaemia and other deficiencies, which also affected the health of children. “The diarrhoea 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,” he said.