THE number of malnourished people in Pakistan has now reached an alarming 45 million, nearly one-third of the country's total population, and constitutes a sad reflection on the policies of successive governments. The data was revealed by the country representative of the UN World Food Programme, who pointed out that under the UN millennium development goals, the number of malnourished people was to be reduced from 26 million in the early 1990s to 13 million in 2015. Unfortunately, the target has receded further, as poverty has become rampant and the plight of the common man has worsened over the past several years. The present figures, however, released by the UN are unprecedented, which means that the situation has sharply deteriorated. A major reason why malnourished people have been increasing is that proper attention has not been paid to the agriculture sector. Since our economy is mainly agrarian, it should have easily been able to feed the people. Unfortunately that is not the case. Although this year the government gave special attention to the wheat crop, there had been a wheat crisis going on for quite some time. The situation was so bad in 2008 that large quantities of wheat had to be imported. On top of that, the unprecedented price hike had added fuel to the fire, thus making it hard for the ordinary folk to have a balanced diet. Under the present conditions, the fear is that the number of the malnourished might further increase. It is a pity that the poor sections of the society have to bear the brunt of the government's ill planned policies.