Sep 23, 2011

Sindh: Food Security In Region Threatened Even Further After This Year’s Devastating Floods

As 73 percent of crops and 67 percent of food stocks have been lost, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says that immediate aid is necessary for the area which is still in recovery from last year’s devastating floods.

Below is an article published by Dawn:

“Millions of people are destitute and face an uncertain and food-insecure future,” the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said in a statement.

It said Pakistan needed $18.9 million to deal with the most urgent needs of millions of rural families in the affected Sindh and Balochistan provinces.

Crop destruction has wiped out farmers’ present and future sources of food and income with “spiralling humanitarian consequences unless immediate assistance is provided”, the FAO said.

Before heavy rains hit Pakistan this year, it was estimated that families affected by the 2010 floods would require three to four cropping seasons to recover, the agency said.

“Delayed assistance will lead to heightened food insecurity, increased public health threats, loss of land tenure agreements due to farmers’ inability to pay their debts, population displacement and longer-term dependence on food aid,” Kevin Gallagher, FAO representative in Pakistan, said.

Saving livestock is one of the top priorities after the floods killed nearly 78,000 head of livestock in Sindh. At least five million animals are at risk because they lack feed and shelter and are exposed to diseases, the FAO said.

The floods, caused by heavy monsoon rains, have displaced more than 300,000 people in Sindh where people are still suffering from the last year’s devastating floods, and hit cotton crops hardest, with an estimated loss of at least two million bales.