ISLAMABAD - The first convoy of trucks carrying food from the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) arrived in Badin district on Sunday for distribution to thousands of households hit by flooding across Pakistan’s southern Sindh province.
Initial distributions plans will see 500,000 of the worst affected people receive a one-month food ration. Distributions are expected to start on Monday.
“We have been closely monitoring the unfolding situation and are ready to respond,” said WFP Pakistan Acting Country Director Dominique Frankefort. “The situation is clearly critical and deteriorating for many who have seen their entire livelihoods washed away. WFP is mobilizing every possible resource to make sure their needs are met as quickly as possible.
Following a formal request from the Government of Pakistan, WFP is working with the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), as well as the provincial authorities, other local agencies and partners to provide emergency food rations to those worst affected by the flooding. WFP food basket includes wheat flour, pulses, vegetable oil, salt, high energy biscuits and specially designed baby food 'wawa mum' to prevent malnutrition.
Latest government figures indicate that nearly five million people have been affected by flooding following heavy Monsoon rains, with lower Sindh province bearing the brunt of the inundations and parts of upper Sindh also affected.
A joint NDMA, WFP and OCHA rapid needs assessment is on-going in 12 flood-affected districts using questionnaires and methodology that was already prepared as part of contingency planning. This will determine the scale and duration of the assistance to be provided by WFP.
WFP is currently assisting over 1.4 million people affected by the 2010 floods through early recovery programmes that run until the end of 2011. Although WFP is utilizing food from its in-country stocks to respond to the life saving needs of the current floods, urgent additional support is required from donors to ensure continued WFP support to the hungry across Pakistan.