The United Nations has warned that Pakistan remains a lower-middle income country and will continue to be vulnerable to fluctuating energy prices.
A report issue by the UN also places India and Bangladesh among lower-middle-income countries despite their economic gains.
The report urges the entire South Asian region to reduce its energy consumption. Nepal is also placed in the same category, although Afghanistan is listed among low-income countries.
The report by the UN labour agency warns that finding a decent and well-paid job will be harder in 2023 than it was in 2022, thanks to the continuing global economic downturn.
The report notes that South Asia has not been affected by the Ukraine war as it has few direct links with Russia and Ukraine. But it is “very vulnerable to the higher global commodity prices that have resulted from the conflict.”
According to this report, South Asia “remains highly vulnerable to natural disasters, for example on the flood plains of Pakistan and Bangladesh.” Countries such as Pakistan “are also increasingly held back by very high levels of energy subsidies, which weigh heavily on public finances and are failing to reduce poverty effectively.”
The report argues that recent high and volatile energy prices have shown South Asia’s vulnerability to energy imports, and underlines “a clear need to become less dependent on these imports.” __The Nation