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Humanitarian Assistance and Development in Pakistan
  By Karen Bokma, PWS&D Communications
Pakistan—the fifth most populated country in the world—is extremely vulnerable to climate change. The Global Climate Risk Index ranked Pakistan as the eighth most climate- affected country between the years 2000 and 2019. With an economy heavily reliant on agriculture (almost 20% of GDP), even minor climactic incidences can have dramatic effects on food security.
In the last several years, there has been increased severity and duration of both heat waves and rain events. At the same time, water scarcity is pre- dicted to become an increasing reality for the Pakistani population, especially for those who rely on agriculture for their livelihoods and food security, for which irrigation water is key.
One of the areas severely af- fected by climate change and water scarcity is Sindh province, which is largely arid and semi-arid. As of Au- gust 2021, Sindh was experiencing a moderate drought.
The population in Sindh is already vulnerable, especially in terms of food security and nutrition. Rural households in Sindh experience high levels of food insecurity and poor nu- tritional indicators for children. Umer- kot District in Sindh, one of the most affected areas, has been flagged at crisis levels on the Integrated Food
Security Phase Classification.
In response, PWS&D is imple- menting a project that will provide humanitarian assistance, early re- covery and development in this highly food insecure district. With funding from Canadian Foodgrains Bank and the Government of Canada, PWS&D’s partner, Community World Service Asia (CWSA), will implement a two-year project to support 23,319 people. This is an innovative program where the Canadian government has recognized the need to connect ur- gent short-term humanitarian needs with longer-term sustainable devel-
opment results.
CWSA will support rural farming
communities in the Umerkot Dis- trict that are extremely vulnerable. The first stage of the intervention (the humanitarian assistance stage) will provide monthly food support to 1,125 families for a period of six months during the lean period from March to August. During this interval, families do not have any food stocks and without assistance might be in- clined toward negative coping strate- gies, including the selling of livestock or household goods. This makes recovery after the lean season even more difficult.
During the early recovery stage, the same families will receive sea- sonal seeds for the next cropping season. A mechanism for seed storage will be developed to allow
Monthly food distributions like the one seen here in Umerkot (pictured in 2019) will be provided to 1,125 families to address immediate food needs. PHOTO CREDIT: CWSA
farmers to save seeds for the next planting season. Women will also receive seeds for home gardens to encourage nutritional diversity. Ad- ditionally, training on “climate smart” agriculture will help complement the provision of seeds to ensure farmers can grow crops despite the difficult environmental conditions in Umerkot.
To ensure sustainable develop- ment is possible for participants, 300 women artisans will receive additional training, including in digi- tal marketing and access to urban markets. This support for income generation outside of agriculture will encourage gender equity and allow women to earn an income through skills like embroidery.
Given the increased risks fac- ing many in Umerkot due to climate change, this project—focusing on both emergency relief and sustaina- ble development—provides a holistic response. Ensuring food in the im- mediate term, addressing a chang- ing climate in farming activities and providing training for additional liveli-
In the Umerkot district of Sindh, Pakistan, a rapidly changing climate means farm- ers are increasingly affected by heat waves and drought. Water scarcity means it’s even more difficult to ensure families have the food they need. PHOTO CREDIT: CWSA
 hood opportunities will ensure many families are better able to weather their daily realities.
This two-year project, with a budg-
et of $1.3 million, will be carried out with the generous support of the Government of Canada through Ca- nadian Foodgrains Bank.
ing funds from the Government of Canada will ensure the project has the greatest possible impact.
These food baskets will ensure that households are able to provide nutritious food for their families as they slowly recover from the chal- lenges they are facing during these difficult times, with the hope of bet- ter days ahead.
  PWS&D Responds in Venezuela
 By Stephanie Chunoo, PWS&D Communications
Located at the northern end of South America sits Venezuela—a country that has been facing a social and political crisis since 2010. For many Venezuelans, this crisis has affected all aspects of life and has resulted in almost 20% of the population (5.4 million people) fleeing the country.
In 2021, inflation reached a stag-
gering 415%. In addition to the loss of income-generating oppor tunities, this hyperinflation has impacted infrastructure and public services, making daily survival increasingly difficult for many Venezuelans.
In addition to hyperinflation, an analysis conducted by the World Food Programme showed that acute food insecurity is prevalent through- out the country. Fuel shortages are affecting many states as well, mak-
ing food transpor tation difficult. This is especially ironic given the fact that Venezuela is an oil producing and exporting country. As a result, malnutrition cases among children are on the rise.
The COVID-19 pandemic has added even more challenges to this already critical situation. With many people losing jobs and numerous restrictions in place, it has become increasingly challenging for many
households to provide for their fami- lies.
At the star t of December 2021, PWS&D provided suppor t through the Canadian Foodgrains Bank to assist 4,956 individuals. Through ADRA Canada and their local par t- ner, ADRA Venezuela, six monthly food baskets full of rice, corn flour, black beans, kidney beans, tuna, wheat flour, pasta, oats, oil, sugar and salt will be distributed. Match-

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