As Pakistan gets pummeled by devastating flooding and landslides caused by heavy monsoon rainfall,  World Food Program USA is mobilizing to support the United Nations World Food Programme’s response to the escalating humanitarian disaster. Following the Government of Pakistan’s request for support, the U.N. World Food Programme is rapidly expanding its food assistance to 495,957 people in Balochistan and Sindh. The U.N. World Food Programme has already supported 40,189 flood-affected people in five targeted districts in Balochistan. Distributions have had to be put on hold due to strong rains and access constraints but will restart as soon as the situation allows.

On August 30, the United Nations will issue a $161 million flash appeal for Pakistan. As part of the appeal, the U.N. World Food Programme urgently needs $34 million in order to scale-up food and cash assistance to nearly 1 million people in the Balochistan, Sindh, Punjab districts and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces.

Since mid-June, flooding and landslides have caused widespread destruction across the country, killing at least 937 people and injuring 1,343. Flooding has affected 33 million people so far with 66 districts declared a ‘calamity hit’ by the government. Over 3000 km of roads and over 100 bridges have been damaged or destroyed; nearly 800,000 livestock have died and 2 million acres of crops and farmland impacted. The humanitarian situation is expected to worsen as communities and infrastructure are increasingly unable to cope with ongoing heavy rainfall. According to Pakistan’s disaster agency, record rainfall has been between three to five times the 30-year nationwide average.

World Food Program USA stands by the people of Pakistan during their time of need. Help us rush urgently-needed food and lifesaving support to those facing crisis in countries like Pakistan.

KABUL – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has delivered emergency food assistance to 18,200 people affected by the devastating earthquake that struck Paktika and Khost on June 22. The 5.9 magnitude quake killed around 800 people, injured 1,500 people and destroyed hundreds of homes.

The U.N. World Food Programme has provided High Energy Biscuits and rations of wheat flour, salt, vegetable oil and beans. Distributions across both provinces are ongoing, while needs assessment teams are gathering information in earthquake-hit areas to uncover the full extent of the damage and determine priority humanitarian needs.

“This is an emergency on top of an emergency. 19 million people are already facing acute hunger across the country, a severe drought and crippling economic crisis is pushing people to the brink. And now thousands have lost their homes after the powerful earthquake and desperately need food assistance and shelter. We are appealing to the international community not to forget the people of Afghanistan,’’ said Gordon Craig, deputy country representative for the U.N. World Food Programme in Afghanistan

Additional Information for Journalists:

  • Humanitarian response efforts in areas affected by last week’s earthquake are ongoing as aftershocks continue to be felt in Giyan (Paktika). The logistics working group (led by the U.N. World Food Programme) is working with UNOPS to conduct a road assessment in three districts.
  • To date, the U.N. World Food Programme has provided emergency food assistance to approximately 18,200 earthquake-affected people (2,600 households).
  • In Bermal, the U.N. World Food Programme has identified 900 households (6,300 people) that require food assistance. To date, approximately 600 households (4,200 people) have received assistance.
  • In Giyan, the U.N. World Food Programme has provided High Energy Biscuits (HEB) to 2,000 households (14,000 people), including 614 households (4,300 people) who have also received emergency food rations.
    Complementary cooking supplies are being distributed jointly by UNHCR and IOM.
  • The U.N. World Food Programme has successfully set up two Mobile Storage Units (MSUs): one in Giyan in the Paktika province and one in Spera in the Khost province. A third MSU will be set up in Bermal in Paktika today.

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The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters, and the impact of climate change.

Follow us on Twitter @WFPUSA and @wfp_media

KABUL – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has rapidly deployed food and logistics equipment to support communities devastated by the June 22nd earthquake that struck near the city of Khost. 18 trucks are being deployed to the earthquake-affected areas carrying emergency supplies, including High Energy Biscuits (HEB) and mobile storage units. The U.N. World Food Programme plans to provide emergency food to an initial 3,000 households and is ready to ramp up its support pending results of ongoing post-disaster assessments.

The U.N. World Food Programme – together with humanitarian partners – has been assessing earthquake damage and the needs of families on the ground. The remote districts of Giyan and Barmal in the Paktika province and Spera in the Khost province are among the areas worst hit. In Barmal, more than 70% of homes were completely destroyed. At least 1,000 people have reportedly been killed, with 2,000 others injured. However, rescue efforts have been hampered by heavy rain and winds, as well as poor connectivity in affected areas.

“The Afghan people are already facing an unprecedented crisis following decades of conflict, severe drought and an economic downturn. The earthquake will only add to the already massive humanitarian needs they endure daily, including for the nearly 19 million people across the country who face acute hunger and require assistance. Our teams rapidly mobilized and will continue to provide support to help affected families get through this latest tragedy,” said Gordon Craig, U.N. World Food Programme deputy country director in Afghanistan.

The U.N. World Food Programme works in all 34 provinces of the country and has a fleet of 239 trucks on the road every day, delivering food to some 800 food distribution sites across the country. In May, the U.N. World Food Programme provided 590,000 people in Paktika province and 320,000 in Khost with emergency food and nutrition assistance. Since the start of 2022, the U.N. World Food Programme has assisted 18 million people with food, cash and livelihoods support in Afghanistan.

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The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters, and the impact of climate change.

Follow us on Twitter @WFPUSA and @wfp_media

Our hearts go out to families impacted by the devastating 5.9 magnitude earthquake that struck South-West of Khost, Afghanistan near the border with Pakistan on June 22. We are deeply saddened by the devastation and loss. World Food Program USA is working to support the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP)’s emergency response. U.N. World Food Programme teams rapidly mobilized to provide emergency support, deploying 18 trucks to the earthquake-affected areas carrying emergency supplies, including High Energy Biscuits (HEB) and mobile storage units. The U.N. World Food Programme plans to provide emergency food to an initial 3,000 households and is ready to ramp up its support pending results of ongoing post-disaster assessments. The U.N. World Food Programme – together with humanitarian partners – has been assessing earthquake damage and the needs of families on the ground. The remote districts of Giyan and Barmal in the Paktika province and Spera in the Khost province are among the areas worst hit. In Barmal, more than 70% of homes were completely destroyed. At least 1,000 people have reportedly been killed and 2,000 others injured. However, rescue efforts have been hampered by heavy rain and winds, as well as poor connectivity in affected areas.

The country is facing an unprecedented humanitarian crisis after decades of conflict, severe drought and a devastating economic crisis. This earthquake will only add to the already massive needs, including food insecurity for 19 million people. Operating in Afghanistan since 1963, the U.N. World Food Programme works in all 34 provinces and has a fleet of 239 trucks on the road every day, delivering food to some 800 distribution sites across the country. The U.N. World Food Programme has so far provided emergency food and nutrition assistance to 18 million people across Afghanistan this year, and in May we have assisted almost 320,000 people in Khost and more than 590,000 in Paktika provinces.

We stand committed to the people of Afghanistan and will do everything we can to reach vulnerable families in their time of great need. But we can’t do it without the support of donors. Please join us as we work to feed millions of vulnerable people.

 

Media Contact:
Abigail Seiler 
Senior Manager, Public Relations
World Food Program USA
aseiler@wfpusa.org
443-843-4368 (cell)

COLOMBO – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) began distributing food vouchers to pregnant women in underserved districts of Colombo on June 16, marking the start of the U.N. World Food Programme’s emergency response in the country. The U.N. World Food Programme is working to provide lifesaving food, cash and voucher assistance to 3 million of the most vulnerable people who can no longer meet their food needs due to Sri Lanka’s unprecedented economic crisis.

The monthly vouchers are valued at $40 and will enable more than 2,000 women to buy food. The vouchers are delivered alongside prenatal care provided by the Public Health Division of the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC).

Food inflation in Colombo set a record high of 57.4% in May, and widespread shortages of fuel for cooking and transport mean families living in poverty are struggling to afford food. Nearly 5 million people, or 22% of the Sri Lankan population, are hungry and in need of assistance. Nutritious foods such as vegetables, fruits and protein-rich products are now out of reach for many low-income families. The U.N. World Food Programme’s recent surveys indicated 86% of families are resorting to at least one coping mechanism including eating less, eating less nutritious food and even skipping meals altogether.

“Pregnant mothers need to eat nutritious meals every day, but the poorest find it harder and harder to afford the basics. When they skip meals they’re putting their and their children’s health at risk,” said Anthea Webb, U.N. World Food Programme deputy regional director for Asia and the Pacific from Colombo.

“Poor families in cities and those who work on estates have seen their incomes plummet while market prices have soared. Each day that passes sees an increase in food and fuel prices globally, making it vital that we act now,” she noted.

The U.N. World Food Programme has long supported the Sri Lankan government’s national nutrition programs, but they are severely constrained by the economic crisis. To bolster existing social safety net programs, the U.N. World Food Programme’s emergency response program aims to assist:

  • 1 million children through the national school meal program
  • 1 million people participating in the Thriposha program, which provides nutritionally-fortified food to mothers and children
  • 1 million people in need of emergency food rations through food, cash or vouchers

The U.N. World Food Programme’s response is part of the Humanitarian Needs and Priorities Plan launched by the United Nations in Sri Lanka on June 9, which called for $47 million to provide lifesaving assistance to 1.7 million people through September. Given its concern that food and nutrition needs will persist beyond September, the U.N. World Food Programme estimates it will require $60 million to assist 3 million people from June through December 2022.

Existing donors to the U.N. World Food Programme’s Sri Lanka program include Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, Japan, Korea, Mastercard, Russia, Switzerland, United Nations Peacebuilding Fund and the United States.

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The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.

Follow us on Twitter @WFPUSA, @wfp_media and @WFPSriLanka

Humanitarian assistance averted a catastrophe in the harsh winter months – but hunger continues across the country at unprecedented levels.

KABUL – 19.7 million people, almost half of Afghanistan’s population, are facing acute hunger according to the latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis conducted in January and February 2022 by Food Security and Agriculture Cluster partners, including the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and many NGOs.

The report predicts that the outlook for June-November 2022 sees a slight improvement in the food security situation, with a reduction in the number of people facing acute food insecurity to 18.9 million people. This is due in part to the coming wheat harvest from May to August and this year’s well-coordinated scale-up of humanitarian food assistance – alongside increased agricultural livelihood support. However, the report warmed that gains will be limited. Lingering drought and the deep economic crisis mean unprecedented hunger will continue to threaten the lives and livelihoods of millions of people across Afghanistan.

Of particular concern – and for the first time since the introduction of the IPC in Afghanistan in 2011 – a small pocket of “catastrophic” levels of food insecurity (IPC Phase 5) has been detected in the country. More than 20,000 people in the northeastern province of Ghor are facing catastrophic levels of hunger because of a long period of harsh winter and disastrous agricultural conditions.

“Unprecedented levels of humanitarian assistance focused on bolstering food security have made a difference. But the food security situation is dire. Humanitarian assistance remains desperately important, as do the needs to rebuild shattered agricultural livelihoods and re-connect farmers and rural communities to struggling rural and urban markets across the country. Unless these happen, there will be no way out of this crisis,” said Richard Trenchard, FAO representative in Afghanistan.

“Food assistance and emergency livelihood support are the lifeline for the people of Afghanistan. We mounted the world’s largest humanitarian food operation in a matter of months, reaching more than 16 million people since August 2021,” said Mary-Ellen McGroarty, the U.N. World Food Programme’s country director and representative in Afghanistan.

“We are working with farmers, millers, and bakeries, training women and creating jobs to support the local economy. Because the people of Afghanistan would much prefer jobs, women want to be able to work, and all girls deserve to go to school. Allowing the economy to function normally is the surest way out of the crisis, otherwise suffering will grow where crops cannot,” she added.

The upcoming harvest will bring some relief to millions of families struggling with income losses and food shortages. However, for many, the harvest will only offer short-term relief and very little opportunity for recovery. The war in Ukraine continues to put pressure on Afghanistan’s wheat supply, food commodities, agricultural inputs and fuel prices. Access to seeds, fertilizer and water for irrigation is limited, labor opportunities are scarce and enormous debts have been incurred to buy food over the last few months.

Both FAO and the U.N. World Food Programme continue to scale up their programs across the country. The U.N. World Food Programme has reached more than 16 million people so far in 2022 with emergency food assistance and is supporting local markets – working with retailers and local suppliers. The U.N. World Food Programme continues to invest in people’s livelihoods through skills training and climate adaption projects so that families can cultivate their land and grow their own food.

FAO continues to scale up its assistance to farmers and herders in rural areas and will assist more than 9 million people in 2022 through a range of interventions supporting crop, livestock and vegetable production, cash transfers, and the rehabilitation of vital irrigation infrastructure and systems.

Supporting agriculture is a cost-effective and strategic intervention that delivers great short-term impact as lifesaving support, while paving the way for longer-term recovery and sustainable development.

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The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger. Our goal is to achieve food security for all and make sure that people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives.

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook @FAOnews, @FAOAfghanistan and @FAO

The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.

Follow us on Twitter @WFPUSA, @wfp_media and @WFP_Afghanistan

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