Saturday, 12 July 2008

Hunger brings anguish for millions of Pakistanis

THARPARKAR, Pakistan: When Pakistani labourer Mangal Ram's children cry from hunger all he has to offer them is empty promises.
"My kids complain and cry for more food but what can I do?," said Ram, 50, a father of seven who lives in the desert village of Tharparkar, in the southern Pakistani province of Sindh.
"We say 'wait, we'll cook more', what else can we do?" he asks with a shrug.
Ram's anguish is becoming increasingly common in Pakistan where inflation is running at about 20 percent, led by fuel and food prices.
Soaring food prices and shortages of staples mean about 77 million people of Pakistan's 160 million population are food insecure, a 28 percent increase over the past year, according to U.N. World Food Program (WFP) estimates.

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