Pakistan among top ten countries facing severe food crisis
Pakistan, which faces shortages of oil, power, gas, irrigation water, etc, is said to be an agricultural country but currently it is facing severe food crisis and there seems no end in sight to the growing crises.
Countries suffering from food price soaring and shortages, including Pakistan, might not face stringent reprisals on acquiring sensitive food items in violation of border-crossing laws to meet the public needs as the amended world customs stipulation of the relevant laws indicate.Pakistan might figure on the list of ten most food-sensitive countries in the world as the country’s relevant officials struggle to join the international plat forms via World Customs Organisation (WCO) for launching vigil on perforated international frontiers and prevent smuggling of products and crop-contaminating inputs and diseases. The situation is being regularly assessed by these quarters to launch vigil and save consumers from rising prices and shortages. Last month, Pakistan fell outside the category of 10 most food-sensitive Asian countries listed by the WCO, but the crisis worsened as the shortages and prices of flour and wheat soared beyond the reach of vast majority Pakistani authorities are reported to have examined prospects of taking advantage of new WCO cooperation recently adjusted to the need for meeting price rise and shortages, and it calls for reinventing and redefining the WCO jurisdiction to help the food-crisis hit countries. The effort aims at making available the most sensitive items to the public and the traditional laws’ breach would not be punish able as stringently as previously, the amended stipulations indicate. According to the latest communique of the WCO, received by relevant officials in Islamabad from Brussels, the following steps are being taken for arresting the food crisis: Exemption of investigation on items that need quick clearance and lengthy procedures might prevent such clearance; restriction of control to minimum necessary levels, so that the food-needing population does not await for too long and face the shortage and price hike; International level co-cooperation between WCO members for monitoring demand-supply levels and acting accordingly in terms of relaxation of controls and investigations. “It is also recommended that governments sign the United Nations agreement concerning measures to expedite the import, export and transit of relief consignments and possessions of relief personnel in the event of disasters and emergencies”. It further asks for implementation without delay of the International Convention on the simplification and harmonisation of customs procedures (revised Kyoto Convention of 2000). Regarding the documents examination, it says verification and approval of compliance with the provisions of other acts by other authorities should be expedited. Quarantine requirements, prohibited grain products, etc should be reviewed. The physical examination for comparison between declared goods and actual goods and passenger baggage Inspection should be relaxed where necessary Exemption of inspection on authorised economical operation should be liberally allowed.
WCO recognises the fact that out of 8.6 billion humans occupying the planet, 800 million live at the edge of hunger; 900 million in absolute poverty (less than a dollar a day income); and 150 million (the size of Pakistani population) living below the absolute poverty level (less than half a dollar day).