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EditorialPakistan's looming hunger crisis

Pakistan’s looming hunger crisis

The world has given the least regard to the warning of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (FRC) that Pakistan is likely to face food shortage after the devastation caused by the recent rains and flash floods in Pakistan. An estimated 43 per cent of the population was already suffering from food insecurity even before the flood. The flooding has levelled standing crops across Sindh and Balochistan, forcing the government to procure vegetables and grains from India, Iran and Afghanistan. The harvesting of wheat is uncertain as the availability of land for new crops is becoming a critical issue because of the continuous flooding in Sindh, while the rainwater in Balochistan has yet to evaporate. The given scenario has forced the global humanitarian organizations to raise the need for a more effective, urgent and active role of the international community to address Pakistan’s food security. In a statement, the IFRC and the IRC said at present around 2.10 million acres are under the rainwater in Pakistan, and according to an estimate, crops, such as rice and wheat, Pakistan’s staple food, have been destroyed. The inundation of fodder crops also caused the death of 743,000 cattle across Pakistan.

International aid is welcome but the government needs to plan well in advance on coping with the hunger crisis. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization says that the organisation will assist the government of Pakistan in dealing with the adverse effects of the recent floods on the agricultural sector. There is a need for federal and provincial governments to jointly formulate policies to help the flood victims, most of them farmers. They need financial assistance to overcome the flood crisis. But Pakistan’s flooding is a case of global warming, nature’s the wrong target.  The world should do justice to Pakistan.

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