ISLAMABAD – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is scaling up emergency relief to victims of catastrophic flooding in Pakistan, prioritizing the worst-affected areas of Peshawar, Mardan, Charsadda and Nowshera, as it continues to identify stricken communities across the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province.
Further food distributions are planned to start in Swat and Dera Ismail Khan in the coming days, in conjunction with an extensive network of national and international partner NGOs.
“We are now into the third day of delivering food to hungry families in Peshawar, Mardan, Charsadda and Nowshera, and have reached more than 40, 000 people with life-saving rations,” said WFP Executive Director, Josette Sheeran.
“We are prioritising the worst-affected areas. More distributions are due to start as WFP mobilises staff to overcome immense logistical challenges.”
“Operations are being mounted on both sides of the border – in Pakistan and in Afghanistan – in these heartbreaking days of loss and suffering,” Sheeran added.
• Food supplies targeting a total of 250,000 people over this week, will continue for a third day in these four areas on Tuesday, while WFP prepares to extend operations to other communities affected by the worst flooding in over 80 years.
• Families are receiving a one-month supply of food, including high-energy biscuits and ready-to-use foods specifically targeted to protect young children.
• WFP is currently conducting food needs assessments in the four worst-hit areas. First indications are that around 1.8 million people across the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province are in need of food assistance.
• Elsewhere, preliminary assessments indicate that up to 20,000 families in other affected areas of Punjab and Balochistan may have been forced from their homes by the flooding and be in need of food assistance. WFP is monitoring the situation closely.
• Access remains a major challenge to mounting distributions, with many areas effectively cut off, as roads and bridges have been washed away by the flooding.
• Urgent donor support is required. WFP warehouses in-country have been flooded and significant quantities of food stocks lost.
• In recent months WFP provided assistance for some 200,000 victims of earlier flooding in Central and Eastern Afghanistan. Initial estimates indicate that another 50,000 people may have been affected by the latest rains.