Big picture.

THE World Economic Forum's Global Risks Report 2023 takes a grim view of what lies ahead in our collective future, and for a good reason. With a cost-of-living crisis, natural disasters, failure to mitigate climate change, geoeconomic confrontations and a general breakdown of social structures ranking as the top five global risks over the next two years, there is much to worry about. The Swiss INGO has also identified a laundry list of Pakistan's woes - a debt crisis, sustained and/or rapid inflation, state collapse and a heightened risk of default. It warns that the 'affordability and availability of basic necessities can stoke social and political instability', which could spiral into much larger stability issues for a country like Pakistan. Particularly chilling is the related warning of 'A combination of extreme weather events and constrained supply' leading to 'a catastrophic scenario of hunger and distress for millions in import-dependent countries or turn the energy crisis towards a humanitarian crisis in the poorest emerging markets'. Disquietingly, this is exactly what seems to be happening in Pakistan, which has started to feel the aftershocks of last year's devastating monsoon rains. With the country out of foreign exchange with which to fund imports, and food stocks...

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