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Pakistan: Drought - Apr 2021

Status
Alert
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, 29 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)