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ISLAMABAD: Overall, 84 percent of the households in Pakistan are food secure, while 14 percent households reported moderate food insecurity, whereas two percent households reported severe food insecurity; and literacy rate for 10 years and above remained stagnant at 60 percent in PSLM 2019-20 Survey as compared to PSLM 2014-15 Survey.

This was revealed in Pakistan Social and Living Standards Measurement (PSLM) Survey of the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics.

The survey showed that prevalence of moderate and severe insecurity is highest in Balochistan with 23 percent and lowest in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa with 14 percent.

It was informed that during Covid first wave period, the same module was used in special survey for evaluating the socio-economic impact of Covid-19 by the PBS and had shown 40 percent of households’ experience either moderate or severe food insecurity (30 percent moderate and 10 percent severe).

In education sector, literacy rate for 10 years and above remained stagnant at 60 percent in PSLM 2019-20 as compared to PSLM 2014-15 survey.

Sindh has shown declining trend in literacy rates.

Similarly, net enrolments at primary, middle and matric, at all levels in provinces have either remained stagnant or shown decreasing trends.

Enrolments at all levels are highest in Punjab, followed by Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh, while Balochistan is at the lowest.

There are 32 percent children aged 5-16 years, who are currently out of school, highest percentage of out of school children is in Balochistan i.e. 47 percent and lowest in Punjab, ie, 26 percent.

Rajanpur in Punjab, Thatta in Sindh, Kohistan and Bajaur in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, and Harnai, Qila Abdullah and Ziarat are the bottom ranked districts in education indicators within their respective provinces. Percentages are higher in urban areas than rural areas with 51 percent and 24 percent respectively.

All health indicators covered in PSLM 2019-20 survey shows improving trend as compared to PSLM 2014-15.

Full immunisation based on record for children aged 12-23 months increased significantly from 60 percent in 2014-15 to 70 percent in 2019-20, and accordingly, all provinces have shown increasing trend.

Prenatal care has significantly increased for women aged 15 to 49 years to 77 percent in PSLM 2019-20 as compared to 73 percent in PSLM 2014-15.

In the health sector regarding the mother and child health, another encouraging factor is the percentage of deliveries assisted by skilled birth attendants in overall Pakistan is at an upward trajectory with 68 percent in 2019-20 as compared to 58 percent in 2014-15.

However, it is informed that there is stark difference in the districts situations within provinces regarding the health indicators.

In Information Communication and Technology (ICT), the survey results indicate that overall 12 percent of households own computer, laptop etc. 93 percent own mobile phones and 33 percent have internet access, percentages are higher in urban areas than rural areas with 51 percent and 24 percent respectively.

Overall 45 percent individuals 10 years and older own mobile phone and 19 percent use internet facility; however, there are large gender differences in both indicators, where 65 percent males have mobile ownership as compared to 25 percent for females.

Similarly 24 percent of males are using internet as compared to only 14 percent females.

Results of the housing reveal that there are large gaps in urban and rural areas and within the provinces in almost all indicators.

72 percent of households have improved material used for roof and walls.

Overall in Pakistan almost 96 percent households use electricity for lighting (91 percent have electricity supply and five percent installed solar panels for lighting).

48 percent used gas as main fuel for cooking, while only 37 percent households are using clean fuel for lighting, cooking and heating.

94 percent households are using improved water facilities for drinking water which includes (piped water, motor pump, hand pump, protected well, protected spring, bottle water, tanker/water bearer).

68 percent have access to toilet facility, which is not shared with others.

Regarding migration, in PSLM survey, it is found that around six percent of population have reported that they are not living at their place of birth, it is pertinent to mention here that in all provinces, there is more intra-province migration (either from one district to another district within same province or from rural to urban) than inter province migration.

Same trend is observed in capitals of the provinces as 13.24 percent population in Lahore reported within province migration as compared to only two percent from other provinces.

Among six districts of Karachi, it is found that Karachi east has the highest percentage of population around 11 percent, which migrated from within province followed by Karachi central and Malir, while Karachi south has reported highest percentage i.e. nine percent of population who have migrated from other provinces, followed by Karachi east and Central.

In Peshawar, trend is of intra-province migration than inter-province; however, in Quetta both inter and intra province migration is of almost same level.

The PSLM Survey showed that 3.4 percent of population in Pakistan is disable that either cannot do at all or face a lot of difficulty in performing their basic functions like seeing, hearing, walking etc. Meanwhile, 7.3 percent of population reported some difficulty in performing their basic functions.

The PSLM 2019-20 survey has been completed successfully with sample of 6,500 blocks and 195,000 households. This survey provides detailed outcome indicators at district level with urban/rural breakdown on education, health, housing, water sanitation and hygiene, along with provision of information for first time on Information Communication and Technology (ICT), Food Insecurity Experience Scale (FIES), and Disability and Migration up to district level.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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