ISLAMABAD, 18 October: A new tool jointly launched by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) of Pakistan will support interventions related to food security and natural disasters in the country.
The “Integrated Context Analysis on Vulnerability to Food Insecurity and Natural Hazards of Pakistan”, or ICA, uses existing data to identify the combined level of recurrence of vulnerability to food insecurity, flood and drought, and categorize districts into five levels of vulnerability. ICA also ranks the recurrence level of other natural hazards and contextual factors which may aggravate the impact of floods and drought on food security.
The analysis is intended to inform programmes of the government and other agencies in the areas of social safety nets, disaster risk reduction, early warning systems and disaster preparedness.
Speaking at the launch of the report, Lieutenant General Omar Mahmood Hayat, HI (M), Chairman NDMA said: “ICA is meaningful from multiple standpoints, particularly for those associated with food security and natural disasters. NDMA is accordingly poised for endeavoring to foster resilience in identified areas in cooperation with all stakeholders and implementation partners.” He further added: “ICA is a living process.
“Data is important,” said Finbarr Curran, WFP Representative and Country Director in Pakistan, “but it needs to tell a story in a way that is visually exciting and easy to understand. That’s what the ICA tool does – and we believe it will help local authorities plan for and respond to natural hazards for the good of the people of Pakistan.” Curran also congratulated the NDMA for its vision, leadership and engagement in the analysis.
The ICA was conducted between January and October 2017 under the leadership of the NDMA, and with the involvement of relevant ministries, PDMAs, line departments, technical institutions, WFP and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
The report categorizes 130 districts of four provinces and FATA of Pakistan. Around 42 districts are found to have high recurrence of vulnerability to food insecurity coupled with high or medium level of natural hazards (Category 1); 20 districts have moderate recurrence coupled with high or medium level of natural hazards (Category 2).
Besides, 19 districts show high or moderate recurrence coupled with relatively low natural hazards (Category 3); 28 districts exhibit low recurrence coupled with high or medium level of natural hazards (Category 4); and 21 districts show low recurrence of vulnerability to food insecurity and also low natural hazards (Category 5).
The remaining 26 districts in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJ&K), the Frontier Regions of FATA and Gilgit Baltistan regions were not categorized due to a lack of food security data.
However, disaster risk reduction and resilience-building strategies are recommended for these regions based on the data available about natural hazards.
The report recommends activities such as year-round or seasonal safety nets focused on food security, comprehensive disaster risk reduction activities including infrastructure improvement or early warning and disaster preparedness, livelihood recovery programmes for each category.
WFP works with NDMA on various activities which have contributed to the strengthening of emergency preparedness and response capacities of the Federal and Provincial Governments.