`Food Crisis Looms as Pakistan Announces Recovery Strategy - Olive Oil Times

Food Crisis Looms as Pakistan Announces Recovery Strategy

By Paolo DeAndreis
Jan. 17, 2023 15:43 UTC

Pakistan’s gov­ern­ment is ask­ing for the inter­na­tional community’s sup­port in address­ing the cur­rent food crisis, recov­er­ing from the floods that impacted large por­tions of the coun­try and get­ting its devel­op­ment plans back on track.

At the Resilient Pakistan Conference,” co-hosted by the country’s offi­cials and the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, more than $9 bil­lion in aid has been pledged by inter­na­tional con­trib­u­tors, includ­ing the United States, China, United Arab Emirates and the European Union.

A Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) showed that to recover from last summer’s floods alone, Pakistan will need more than $16 bil­lion.

Given the assess­ment, a project known as 4RF (Resilient Recovery, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Framework) has been announced in Geneva. It details the pri­or­i­ties and objec­tives of the recov­ery efforts.

4RF will sup­port the coor­di­na­tion of all pub­lic and pri­vate actors involved in the restora­tion efforts while also pro­vid­ing a ref­er­ence for inter­na­tional and national pub­lic and pri­vate invest­ments, funds and devel­op­ment plans.

See Also:Record Heatwave and Drought in Pakistan Threaten Crops and Olive Farming

Before last year’s calamity, Pakistans finances were already sig­nif­i­cantly bur­dened by a sov­er­eign debt that has grown sub­stan­tially in the last ten years. Local observers are push­ing the gov­ern­ment to ini­ti­ate debt restruc­tur­ing nego­ti­a­tions with the country’s for­eign cred­i­tors.

According to United Nations experts, the com­plex sce­nario is forc­ing an addi­tional 9.1 mil­lion Pakistani to fall below the poverty line, with health and food inse­cu­rity highly exac­er­bated by the floods.

The coun­try is also expe­ri­enc­ing strong infla­tion, which accel­er­ated after the floods and directly con­tributed to ris­ing food prices. As reported by the local news­pa­per Dawn, since August 2022, food infla­tion rates have exceeded 30 per­cent. They reached 37.9 per­cent in December.

Among other fac­tors, the high infla­tion lev­els were caused by the food short­age after the floods and by the extra­or­di­nary dynam­ics of the inter­na­tional food mar­kets.

The pri­or­i­ties of the newly announced recov­ery plan include restor­ing the government’s and state insti­tu­tions’ effi­cacy in the affected areas, restor­ing liveli­hoods and eco­nomic oppor­tu­ni­ties, ensur­ing social inclu­sion and sus­tain­ably restor­ing basic ser­vices and phys­i­cal infra­struc­ture.

Local experts believe that food sub­si­dies designed to cur­tail the impact of the ris­ing food infla­tion might be eroded by the sig­nif­i­cant eco­nomic slow­down trig­gered by the floods.

Between June and August 2022, extra­or­di­nar­ily per­sis­tent and heavy rain­fall com­bined with river and urban flood­ing put more than a third of the coun­try under water, directly affect­ing the pop­u­la­tion and eco­nomic activ­i­ties, includ­ing farm­ing.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Human Affairs reported that more than 1700 died in a national dis­as­ter, dis­plac­ing more than 8 mil­lion peo­ple. More than 33 mil­lion Pakistani directly felt the con­se­quences of the floods.

The south­ern regions were hit the hard­est. Significant but minor dam­ages were also reported in the north­west­ern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region, one of Pakistan’s most active olive-grow­ing areas. Central-east­ern Punjab also suf­fered from the dis­as­ter.

Thousands of schools, hos­pi­tals and com­pa­nies were dam­aged or destroyed. Because of the floods, large areas of cul­ti­vated veg­eta­bles, oilseed and pulses were com­pletely washed away.


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