Skip to main content

Pakistan: Urgent call for assistance

Publication date
View original


Severe monsoon weather conditions since mid‑June 2022 have disrupted the lives and livelihoods of 33 million people in Pakistan, mainly located in rural areas. Rainfalls were significantly higher than the national 30‑year average, leading to devastating floods and landslides that wiped out agricultural lands, livestock assets, forests and critical agricultural infrastructure. The climate‑induced disaster struck rural communities amid growing economic and food security challenges, compounding their vulnerabilities and exhausting their resilience. Rural communities, who represent 80 percent of the poorest people in Pakistan and depend on agriculture and livestock keeping for their livelihoods, were among the hardest hit by the disaster, especially in Balochistan, Sindh and Punjab provinces. The disaster damaged more than 1.2 million ha of agricultural land in Sindh, leading to catastrophic losses in agricultural production and livelihoods. In Balochistan, nearly 50 percent of affected households rely on livestock keeping for their livelihoods. Of these, 36 percent reported losing at least one livestock asset, 46 percent reported damage to livestock shelters and 29 percent lost their animal feed stock.

Furthermore, 61 percent of livestock keepers in the affected districts of Balochistan have already reported symptoms of transboundary animal diseases.

According to the latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification analysis (July 2022), of the 1.9 million people who are in need of food security and agricultural assistance in the impacted districts, nearly 510 000 people are only one step away from catastrophic levels of food insecurity. The numbers are projected to rise further as the impacts of the disaster continue to force vulnerable households to deplete their productive assets in order to secure their most immediate needs. The Rabi planting season (October–December) that accounts for 57 percent of national cereal production is fast approaching and the window of opportunity to support Pakistani farmers and their communities is narrowly time-bound.

Restoring the livelihoods of smallholder farmers and livestock keepers to enable them to feed themselves and their communities is a frontline humanitarian response. This vital, time‑sensitive and life‑saving support will enable the affected communities to quickly resume their agricultural production and boost their food security. Every delay in providing the affected communities with access to agricultural production inputs and livestock protection services means that more households will lose their livelihoods and enter a vicious cycle of food insecurity and dependency on food aid.