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16.4 pct of Pakistan's households experience food insecurity

  • PSLM survey 2019-20 puts literacy rate stagnant at 60pc since 2014-15
  • 33pc households have access to internet, 93pc to mobile phone

Published 27 May,2021 via Dawn ISLAMABAD - Around 16.4 per cent households in the country, according to a government survey, have reported that they are experiencing moderate or severe food insecurity.

The Pakistan Social and Living Standards Measurement (PSLM) survey 2019-20, conducted by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), covered 176,790 households across rural and urban communities for collecting information on a range of social sector issues — education, health and food insecurity by facilities and services.

The percentage of insecurity is evolved on the basis of information on how many households suffer due to food insecurity by evaluating in terms of money, full of nutrition food and hunger over the past 12 months. It is the 12th round of PSLM surveys since 2004 for monitoring of development plans at the provincial/district level in the overall context of Sustainable Development Goals.

According to the survey report, Balochistan witnessed the highest level of moderate or severe food insecurity at 29.84pc, followed by Sindh 18.45pc, Punjab 15.16pc and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 12.75pc.

The district-wise data shows that the highest level of moderate or severe food insecurity was recorded at 48.8pc in Barkhan and the lowest at 4.59pc in Gwadar, Balochistan. In Sindh, the highest level was recorded at 34.04pc in Kashmore and the lowest at 7.66pc in Khairpur.

In Punjab, the highest level of moderate or severe food insecurity was noted at 28.81pc in Kasur and the lowest at 4.18pc Okara. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the highest level stood at 32.43pc in Tank and the lowest at 3.94pc in Shangla.

The survey reveals that the population of 10 years and older, who have ever attended schools, at the national level was 60pc in 2019-20, compared to 62pc in 2014-15. Islamabad remained at the top with 85pc.

The district-wise wise comparison shows Rawalpindi with 83pc, Korangi with 82pc, Abbotabad with 77pc and Gwadar with 60pc are the top most districts in their respective provinces. Rajanpur with 40pc, Thatta with 26pc, Mohmand with 28pc and Dera Bugti, Shaheed Sikandarabad and Sherani with 14pc are the bottom districts in their respective provinces.

According to the survey, 32pc children were out of school across the country in 2019-20. The number of such children is higher in rural areas (37pc) than urban areas (22pc). Punjab has the lowest number of out-of-school children (24pc) and Balochistan has the highest (47pc).

District-wise data shows that almost two-thirds districts of Punjab have less than 25pc out-of-school children; However, Chakwal and Narowal have the lowest number of out-of-school children with 9pc. Rajanpur is at bottom with 48pc.

In Sindh, Karachi Central with 21pc is at top while Thatta with 71pc is at bottom in terms of out-of-school children. In KP, Abbottabad with 9pc is at top while Mohmand with 57pc is at bottom. In Balochistan, Nushki with 23pc is at top while Shaheed Sikandarabad with 76pc is at bottom.

The national level literacy rate remained stagnant at 60pc in 2019-20 as in 2014-15. The literacy rate was 58pc in 2013-14.

The provincial-wise data depicts that Punjab has the highest literacy rate with 64pc, followed by Sindh with 58pc and KP with 53pc. Balochistan has the lowest literacy rate with 46pc.

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

The district-wise comparison reveals that in Punjab, Rawalpindi with 82pc is at top in literacy with Rajanpur with 42pc at bottom. In Sindh, Korangi with 84pc is at top while Tharparkar and Sujawal with 29pc are at bottom. In KP, Abbottabad with 74pc is at top while Mohmand with 26pc is at bottom. In Balochistan, Quetta with 64pc is at top while Shaheed Sikandarabad with 14pc is at bottom.

For the first time youth literacy is being provided in PSLM district-level survey 2019-20. According to the survey, youth literacy is 72pc at the national level. This proportion is higher in urban areas (84pc) than in rural areas (65pc).

However, youth literacy is higher in males (79pc) than in females (65pc).

According to the PSLM 2019-20 survey, 33pc households have access to internet, 93pc to mobile phone and 12pc to computer. The survey shows 45pc of the population own mobile phones with at least one connection — 65pc male and 25pc female.

Children aged 10 and above were found using mobile/smart phones in the 2019-20 survey. Nineteen per cent of them use internet — 24pc male and 14pc female.

According to the survey, 77pc get prenatal consultation during their last pregnancy, compared to 73pc in 2014-15. Skilled birth attendant was calculated at 68pc in 2019-20. Record-based immunisation was 70pc in 2019-20, compared to 60pc in 2014-15. It was highest in Layyah district at 98pc, compared to 82pc in 2014-15, and lowest in Rahim Yar Khan at 65pc in 2019-20 as against 39pc in 2014-15.

According to the survey, 94pc households have access to improved source of drinking water, compared to 93pc in 2014-15. Improved sources include tap water, motor pump, hand pump, dug well closed, spring protected, bottled water, filtration plant and water delivered through tanker truck.

The survey shows 83pc households have access to toilet, compared to 73pc in 2014-15. In Punjab, 89pc households have toilet facility, followed by 84pc in KP, 76pc in Sindh and 44pc in Balochistan.

According to the survey, Punjab has the highest rate (7pc) of migration than other three provinces. In 2019-20, migration was highest in Islamabad at 36pc, whereas inter-migration was 17pc and intra-migration 19pc.

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