Poverty is one of the major issues faced by pakistan. According to a report published by human development index Pakistan ranks 150 out of 189 countries in poverty. Before the outbreak of coronavirus, upto 29.5 percent people lived below the poverty line that constituted approximately 55 million people. However, the situation is different after the outbreak of covid-19. It is expected that the rate of poverty will become 50 percent and 120 million people will live under the poverty line by the end of this year amid an outbreak of coronavirus.
We have been witnessing the unnecessary debate over whether or not total lockdown is justified. The prime minister Imran Khan already opposed total lockdown because he said if he imposed lockdown across the country, people would run out of food and starve. However, the government of all provinces are already experiencing the lockdown that will result in abject poverty. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), almost 90 percent of pakistan’s workforce are working as security guards, cleaners, raksha drivers, street vendors, garbage collectors and domestic help are suffering from hunger and food shortage due to lockdown in the country.
Therefore, there is a dire need to take strong measures by the government to support the poor and implement properly on relief packages given by federal and provincial governments. Otherwise, the situation will be further critical for the country and people will die of hunger not of coronavirus.
Bilawal Ali Lakho