Food Poverty and its Causes in Pakistan

Shaheen Mahmood, Khalid Hameed Sheikh, Tallat Mahmood


The issue of malnutrition is vital in Pakistan. Recent
empirical literature on this issue highlights some causes of poverty and
malnutrition such as lower purchasing power of money, larger household
size, low education, large number of dependents, age of the head of the
household etc. [See Ehtisham and Ludlow (1989) and Havinga et al.
(1989)]. But we feel that much more can be explored other than what
previous literature has contributed to explain the causes of poverty and
'malnutrition in Pakistan. For example how the poor perceive hunger or
starvation in society, the role of traditional diet patterns in
malnourishment and critical evaluation of poverty indices. Such
information is also important for the correct application of food
policies in the country. 1Wo steps are needed to explore this issue: 1.
Correct evaluation of the severity of poverty; and 2. To collect maximum
information about the causes of poverty.

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