Pakistan: 6 Months On, Food Aid Helps To Power Flood Recovery

Men involved in a food for work programme in the Swat Valley clear a road that was washed away during the floods. Copyright: WFP/Amjad Jamal

WFP is currently delivering food assistance to around 5.2 million people affected by last year’s floods in Pakistan. That assistance increasingly takes the form of support for projects that rebuild bridges, roads and other important community assets.

ROME -- Six months after Pakistan was hit by devastating monsoon flooding,  the recovery is at different stages in different parts of the country. In the north and central Pakistan, most families have been able to return to their homes, rebuild their houses, plant crops and take back their former lives.

But in a few areas of the southern province of Sindh, many communities are still surrounded by floodwaters. Thousands of families in Balochistan, in the southwest, are also unable to return to their homes. Between the two provinces, some 600,000 flood victims are still living in temporary camps and for these people  recovery seems some way off. 

"We want to go home"

 Mai Amiran and her eight-month-old daughter are among over 350,000 people in the southern Sindh province still unable to return home due to the flood waters. Find out more
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When the waters were raging

A look at Pakistan during the height of the floods. Watch video

Adapting to conditions

The different scenarios require different types of food assistance. As WFP continues to provide food for more than 5 million people a month, it is tailoring its response accordingly.

In the south, in the struggling communities that lie along the Indus River to the north of Hyderabad, WFP is providing emergency food packages. Families receive a basket including wheat flour, pulses, salt, oil and special nutritional products designed to protect children from malnutrition. Find out more

In other regions, flood-stricken families have been receiving monthly food rations for the last six months. This food supported them as they returned to their villages and rebuilt their homes.  For many of these families, who are now back on their feet, relief will stop after January. Find out more

Food to rebuild

But WFP will be scaling up its support for community projects aimed at rebuilding important infrastructure. So, whenever possible, food will be channeled to people who work on rebuilding roads, bridges and irrigation ditches, or reclaiming flood-damaged  farmland. Find out more

In some cases, the beneficiaries working on these projects will receive cash, which they can spend on whatever food best suits their needs. This helps sustain local food production, by putting money back into the local economy.

These ‘food-for-work’ and ‘cash-for-work’ projects are one of the ways WFP is targeting food assistance towards the wider recovery of villages and communities. This is also happening through school meals programmes for children and through nutrition programmes for mothers and young children. About a million people currently benefit from this type of targeted food assistance.