The other day, a number of media reported that more than 40,000 tons of wheat was stolen from warehouses in Pakistan. That’s more than half of the 60,000 tonnes of grain recently supplied by Russia.
In January, it was reported that by 2022, humanitarian aid would be sent from Moscow to the natural disaster-affected areas of Pakistan. In particular, Şafak newspaper wrote about this, referring to the country’s Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Cooperatives. They remember that due to the floods in Pakistan, 8 million tons of reduction in wheat harvest is expected.
A total of 40,392 tons of wheat were lost from government warehouses in Sindh’s 10 districts. Considering that Pakistan is among the countries in serious need of grain, the figure is frightening.
It so happened that the states that do not produce enough or do not produce wheat buy it. And there are many such countries. But there are very few producing countries with an abundance of grain. At the same time, if EU countries can still provide themselves with grain (France’s third-class export wheat, USA and Canada also grow wheat), then Pakistan cannot cope without imported grain. In addition to Russia, wheat can be bought from Central Asian and Australian countries.
And recently it became known that the Russian Federation plans to supply Islamabad with another 450,000 tons of grain with nine cargo ships. However, after such a large-scale theft, in which representatives of the Pakistani authorities also participated, fears are growing that the wheat will not reach its addressee.
In Pakistan, 67 senior government officials were sacked for stealing billions of rupees worth of wheat. Among them are many investigators involved in crime.
Before that, it was learned that wheat shortage in Pakistan this year was about 2.5 million tons. This was recently discussed by the Minister for Food Safety. Tariq Bashir Chima. This is due to the severe flooding in summer and autumn last year, which poses a serious threat of humanitarian crisis in the country.
Also, Islamabad faced a severe financial crisis, with the State Bank of Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves falling below $4 billion.
Due to the wheat shortage, the prices of flour and bread are constantly rising and this situation causes great discontent in the public. In such a difficult time, theft and corruption in the grain sector are exacerbating the protests, which can affect political stability in Pakistan.
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