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 an increased severity and duration of both heat waves and rain events. At the same time, water scarcity is predicted to become an increasing reality for the Pakistani population, and especially those who rely on agriculture for their livelihoods and food security, for which irrigation water is key.
In response, PWS&D is implementing a project that is providing humanitarian assistance, early recovery and development in highly food insecure Sindh province. With funding from Canadian Foodgrains Bank and the Government of Canada, PWS&D’s partner, Community World Service Asia (CWSA), is implementing a two-year project to support 23,319 people.
The first stage of the intervention (the humanitarian assistance stage) provides monthly food support to families during lean periods. During the early recovery stage, the same families will receive seasonal seeds for the next cropping season. 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 development is possible for participants, 300 women artisans are receiving additional training, including in digital 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.
*This two-year project, with a budget of $1.3 million, will be carried out with the generous support of the Government of Canada through Canadian Foodgrains Bank.