Rano, her husband Jeevo, and their two children live in a small village 15 kilometres southeast of Umerkot, in south-eastern Pakistan. As they await the arrival of their third child, the couple is hoping that this monsoon season and those that follow will be generous to them, bringing a harvest to their investment of a four-acre plot of land.
For the past year, Jeevo has farmed the land. Unfortunately, droughts exacerbated by climate change have made it nearly impossible for anything to grow and even more challenging for the couple to make ends meet.
To provide for his family, Jeevo found work in the city as a labourer.
Sadly, later that year, Jeevo’s mother passed away. Mourners poured in from far and near. As tradition dictated, Jeevo and Rano were obliged to house and feed them for as many days as they remained in their village. This required the couple to borrow money from a local lender, but they did so on the assumption that the crops that had been planted would be abundant enough to repay the loan.
While Jeevo returned to work in Karachi to support his family, Rano struggled to keep their children fed by purchasing groceries on loan. When he returned home two months later, Jeevo had to use half of his earnings to repay the loan they had borrowed.
Realizing he needed to find something more stable to support his family and pay off the loans, he got a job as a driver with a fixed salary. In addition to this blessing, the family was selected to participate in a PWS&D-supported food assistance project where Rano and Jeevo were eligible for food aid. After the family received the second instalment of food aid, they were able to save Jeevo’s salary to invest in their agricultural land. This was in hopes that the monsoon would bring rain.
In addition, Rano, though skilled, had never worked as a seamstress because she could not afford to buy a sewing machine. Now that the food assistance project is taking care of the family’s food needs, she has a little more room to start putting away the money to one day achieve her dream of becoming an established tailor for her village.
The Global Climate Risk Index ranked Pakistan as the eighth most climate-affected country between 2000 and 2019. In an agriculture-dependent economy, even minor climatic events can profoundly affect food security, as Rano and Jeevo’s experience demonstrates.
In this highly food-insecure district in Sindh, families will receive emergency food assistance, as well and early recovery and long-term development support. With funding from Canadian Foodgrains Bank and the Government of Canada, PWS&D’s partner, Community World Service Asia (CWSA), will support 23,319 people over a two-year period.