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Pakistan: Drought - Apr 2021

Status
Ongoing
Countries
Pakistan
Disaster types
Drought

Several districts in the provinces of Balochistan and Sindh experience drought conditions which have resulted in increased food insecurity. Between October 2020 and March 2021, the impact of La Niña caused below normal rainfall in drought prone areas of Balochistan (-63.3 per cent rainfall) and Sindh (-77.3 per cent). According to the National Drought Monitoring Centre (NDMC), moderate drought conditions are prevailing across 18 districts in the two provinces. An estimated 1.8 million people are expected to experience acute food insecurity and 530,000 people emergency levels of food insecurity from March to June 2021 in 12 of the 18 drought-affected districts, according to the Food Security Sector. The Pakistan Meteorological Department warns that drought conditions may continue and worsen with adverse effects on agriculture and livestock. Food sector partners are supporting the Government of Balochistan in conducting a joint assessment in the ten drought-affected districts. (OCHA, 19 Apr 2021)

Around 0.76 million people (27% of the rural population analysed) are estimated to be facing high levels of acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 3 or above) in the current period (March–June 2021), corresponding to the end of the lean season and the beginning of the harvest season. These include around 0.57 million people (20% of the rural population) in IPC Phase 3 (Crisis) and 0.19 million people (7% of the rural population) in IPC Phase 4 (Emergency) across the 10 districts analysed. The analysis of the projection period (July-September 2021) corresponding to the post-harvest season indicates that the number of people in Crisis and Emergency phases is expected to reduce slightly to 0.73 million (25% of the rural population). Urgent action is therefore required to protect livelihoods and reduce food consumption gaps of people in Crisis and Emergency phases of acute food insecurity. (IPC, 30 Apr 2021)

Most of the districts falling under arid-zones with high dependency on rainfall did not receive rainfall between April and November. Due to deficiency of pre-winter and winter rainfall, a moderate drought-like condition has emerged in southern and western parts of Balochistan. Around 3.8 million people (26% of the population analysed) are estimated to be facing high levels of acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 3 or above) in the current period of March to June 2021, corresponding to the end of the lean season and the beginning of the harvest season. These include around 2.8 million people (19% of the population analysed) in IPC Phase 3 (Crisis) and almost 1 million people (7% of the population analysed) in IPC Phase 4 (Emergency) across the nineteen districts analysed. At least 5% of the population analysed in all the districts is in Phase 4 in both Balochistan and Sindh, while between 20% to 35% in Balochistan and between 15% and 30% in Sindh are in IPC Phase 3 or 4. (IPC, 18 May 2021)

As predicted by Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD), the country overall received below normal (-36.1%) rainfall during Oct 2020 to May 2021. The main thrust was in Sindh (-64.5%) and Balochistan (-59.5%). The rainy season in west to south-west districts of Balochistan is over now and no significant rainfall is expected until November 2021. Due to consistent deficiency of rainfall since October 2020, the moderate drought has been further intensified into severe drought especially in the southwestern Balochistan and southeastern Sindh. (Govt. Pakistan, 3 Jun 2021)

During the last week, rainfall of light to moderate intensity has been recorded at different districts of Balochistan, whereas rainfall of unmeasurable amount was reported from Karachi. Overall, weather remained hot and dry in these two provinces. The current rainfall would have no significant effect on the ongoing drought condition in the specific areas of Balochistan province. (Govt. Pakistan, 5 July 2021)

Low rainfall during October 2020 to May 2021 has created severe drought-like conditions in parts of Balochistan province with six of the 12 central and southern districts being severely affected. An estimated 500,000 people are facing crisis or emergency levels of food insecurity while another 100,000 people require immediate life-saving assistance. The dry spell and reduced water availability are destroying crops and threatening the survival of livestock which are the main livelihood and food source for many families in the affected areas. It is forecasted that drought-like conditions will continue in the affected districts until the end of the year, while Balochistan is still recovering from compound disasters that have affected the province in recent years, including a harsh winter, locust infestation and the COVID-19 pandemic. (OCHA, 27 July 2021)

The month of August was not good for most drought prone areas of Balochistan and Sindh.In Balochistan, Districts Chagi, Kharan, Panjgor, Washuk and Kech are facing Moderate while Awaran and Quetta facing Mild Drought Conditions. In Sindh Province , Districts Mirpurkhas, Sanghar and Khairpur areas are facing Moderate Drought while Badin, Thatta, Sajawal, Nawabshah, Jamshoro are facing Mild Drought Conditions. (Govt. Pakistan, 2 Sep 2021)

During the last week, under the influence of Tropical Cyclone Shaheen developed in the North Arabian Sea, light rainfall along with some heavy showers were reported from different districts of Sindh (including the drought-affected districts), while the coastal belt of Balochistan province and some adjoining districts also received good rainfall. The current rainfall has provided relief to the drought-affected areas of Sindh and, as such, drought conditions have subsided from the Sindh province for the time being; however, some districts of Balochistan province are still under the influence of mild to moderate drought. (Govt. Pakistan, 4 Oct 2021)

During the last week, Districts of Loralai and Shaheed Benazirabad of both Balochistan and Sindh respectively received light to moderate rainfall. Rainfall during the previous weeks in the coastal areas of Balochistan (which were under the influence of drought) have provided significant relief and as such drought conditions have been subsided temporarily from these areas. However, some districts of Balochtsan are still under the influence of mild to moderate drought. (Govt. Pakistan, 11 Oct 2021)

According to the latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification Acute Malnutrition (IPC AMN) analysis, of the nine districts analysed in Sindh, Pakistan, acute malnutrition is at a Critical level (IPC Phase 4) in eight districts and at a Serious level (IPC Phase 3) in one district. The situation is particularly severe in six of the eight districts classified in the Critical phase, whereby one in five children is affected by acute malnutrition. Conversely, the other two districts classified in the Critical phase register levels of acute malnutrition not too far above those classified in the Serious phase (IPC Phase 3). (IPC, 14 Oct 2021)