In recent years, Pakistan has become a food surplus country and a major producer of wheat and rice. Following three consecutive years of good harvests, food availability is relatively stable, according to the UN. However, the poorest and most vulnerable members of the population cannot afford a sufficient and nutritious diet despite the overall growth in food production.
Approximately 60 percent of the Pakistani population is facing food insecurity, and malnutrition is highly prevalent, according to the UN World Food Program (WFP). WFP reports that 44 percent of Pakistani children younger than 5 years of age are stunted, suffering from chronic malnutrition, and 15 percent suffer from acute malnutrition.
Ongoing conflict between the Government of Pakistan (GoP) and militant groups, recurrent natural disasters—including drought, earthquakes and floods—and economic instability exacerbate food insecurity and disrupt livelihood opportunities, particularly in rural areas.
Poor 2017 harvests due to erratic rainfall, loss of livestock, and limited agricultural inputs—such as quality seeds and fertilizer—have contributed to concerning food security conditions in drought-prone regions of southeastern and southwestern Sindh Province, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.
As of March 2018, more than 29,600 Pakistani families remained displaced in northwest Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPk) Province, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Additionally, the UN estimates that 2.4 million displaced Afghans—including approximately 1.4 million registered refugees and one million unregistered Afghans—are living in Pakistan.