It is the poor who always suffer the most
It is disappointing to learn that the government has failed to meet its target of public food distribution for the previous fiscal year, distributing about 2.18 million tons of food against the target of 3.14 million, which was only about 70% of the targeted amount.
This is particularly upsetting, as this has been a pandemic year, and never has public food distribution been more important; the numerous lockdowns and other pandemic-related obstacles have essentially robbed countless livelihood opportunities from those lower on the socioeconomic ladder. With income opportunities reduced and economic hardships increased, the poor -- and the newly poor created as a result of the pandemic -- depended even more on public food distribution.
While a lack of administrative efforts, the pandemic, and a shortage of food reserves in public granaries were said to be the principal reasons for such a drop, in reality there is little to no justification.
We were told time and again that there was no shortage of food during the previous fiscal year, so the existence of limited stocks in granaries once again points to inefficiency in the system -- the “lack of administrative efforts” that unfortunately continues to be the recurring problem in this country.
Unfortunately, it is the poor who always suffer the most from this recurring theme of a gross sense of disregard and inefficiency, and such a trend is not befitting of a nation looking to take the next step in its economic journey and one that wants to be seen as a beacon of equity and progress.
Moving forward, we hope that the authorities concerned address these issues and do a better job of ensuring that the poor and the vulnerable are better taken care of. Above all, no one should have to go hungry, or be lacking food. That is simply not acceptable.