THE PAKISTAN DEVELOPMENT REVIEW
Institutional Imperatives of Poverty Reduction
The high food inflation in the last three years has pushed 11 million people into a state of hunger and poverty. Given the present trend, if no policy action is taken, an additional 22 million people will be impoverished over the next four years (see Table 7). According to the World Food Programme Survey for the Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping Unit as many as 77 million people upto March 2008 are deemed “food insecure”1, where the food insecure population is defined as those consuming less than 2350 calories per person per day. The statistical evidence clearly shows Pakistan is in the grip of a poverty crisis. Ms. Bushra’s action stands as stark testimony of the human experience of poverty. It also poses a challenge to policy makers as much as to economists to undertake urgent policy action on the basis of a scientific analysis of the problem.