‘About 10 million people at risk of slipping into poverty in Pakistan’

‘About 10 million people at risk of slipping into poverty in Pakistan’

Islamabad: The World Bank has painted a grim economic picture of Pakistan in its biannual report, cautioning that over 10 million more people are at risk of descending into poverty in the cash-strapped country.

The Washington-based lender’s apprehension comes from a sluggish economic growth rate of 1.8 per cent, coupled with soaring inflation, a staggering 26 per cent in the current fiscal year.

The World Bank’s biannual Pakistan Development Outlook report painted a grim economic picture, indicating that the country is set to miss almost all major macroeconomic targets.

The international lender said the country is anticipated to fall short of its primary budget target, remaining in deficit for three consecutive years, contrary to the International Monetary Fund’s stipulations mandating a surplus.

Sayed Murtaza Muzaffari, lead author of the report, said despite a board-based yet nascent economic recovery, poverty alleviation efforts remain insufficient.

The economic growth is projected to stagnate at a paltry 1.8 per cent while maintaining the poverty rate at around 40 per cent, with approximately 98 million Pakistanis already grappling with poverty, the World Bank report said. The report underlined the vulnerability of those hovering just above the poverty line, with 10 million individuals at risk of slipping into poverty.

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