The Pakistan Food Security Cluster (FSC), co-led by FAO and WFP, conducted the Livelihood and Food Security Assessment (LFSA) in four districts in Sindh, namely, Jamshoro, Sanghar, Tharparkar and Umerkot in April/May in 2017. The detailed assessment was aimed at assessing the situation of food security and livelihoods in the targeted districts.
The assessment was conducted with the following specific objectives:
Assess the situation of food security and livelihoods in four districts in Sindh;
Assess the dietary diversity, hunger, severity of food insecurity, malnutrition and access to water and sanitation in the surveyed districts;
Identify the shocks experienced by the households and coping mechanisms;
Provide evidence for Integrated Phase Classification (IPC) for Acute Food Insecurity and IPC Acute Malnutrition Analyses and informed decision making for improving household livelihoods and food security
A standard methodology was employed whereby a sample size of 400 households was estimated for each district and in total 1,573 interviews was conducted in the four districts. The assessment focused on both urban and rural and arid and non-arid areas of the targeted districts.
As per the survey findings, most of the households did not own land whereas women headed households reported less land ownership and cultivation in all surveyed districts. Cereals produced by households were not sufficient to meet household consumption, particularly for households in desert/arid areas and those headed by women. A significant number of households had no stock at the time of the survey. Most of the households reported ownership of small ruminants, particularly goats in desert/arid areas. A considerable number of livestock losses were reported, specifically in Sanghar and Tharparkar districts. Sale of livestock was also common due to disease and reduced availability of fodder and water. Further, inadequate crop production and livestock losses are likely to have adverse impacts on livelihood and food security of the surveyed households.
Household Assets and Livelihoods
Generally, ownership of domestic and productive assets was very low. Primary sources of livelihood include sale of crops/vegetables and labour including unskilled agriculture and non-agriculture labour. Households in non-arid areas were engaged in relatively more sustainable livelihood strategies than in the desert/arid areas.
Based on the food consumption score, more than half of the households had poor food consumption. The diet of the people in desert/arid areas was poorer in terms of quality and quantity than the non-arid areas and Tharparkar had the lowest dietary diversity. Most of the households were dependent on markets for acquisition of food on cash and credit basis. However, long distances to the markets from communities, particularly desert/arid areas, and cost of transportation and unavailability of transport were reported two main problems in accessing the markets.
Prevalence of food insecurity, based on Food Insecurity Experience Scale (FIES)-an indicator of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2, was quite high in the surveyed districts as two-thirds of households had moderate and severe food insecurity, particularly around three-quarters in Sanghar and Tharparkar. Further, food insecurity was higher in rural, desert/arid, women headed, and households that had unsustainable and agriculture based sources of livelihoods. Very high prevalence of food insecurity could be associated with high malnutrition among women and children in the surveyed districts.
Health and Nutrition
Access to healthcare is an important issue and long distances to health providers, overall 13.2 kilometers (KMs) and 21.8 KMs in desert/arid areas, was the most common problem reported, particularly in rural and desert/arid areas. Overall, prevalence of malnutrition among children age 6-59 months was 20.1%---above the emergency threshold (GAM-MUAC based); significantly higher among children in desert/arid areas, women headed, very poor and households that had unsustainable and non-agriculture based sources of livelihood. Further, overall 15.1% of PLWs were malnourished (MUAC below 21.0 CM); higher in rural and desert/arid areas, women headed, and households having agriculture and unsustainable livelihood sources.
Water and Sanitation
Around two-thirds of households were accessing water from improved sources: this was highest in Sanghar (76%) and lowest in Tharparkar (50%). Distance to the water sources was a major impediment, particularly for children and women who generally fetch water from long distances, which is likely to affect their health, education and care including breastfeeding of young children. Further, overall, around half of the households and two-thirds in Tharparkar district had no toilet/latrine at home.
Two-thirds of surveyed households received support from Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) followed by nutritional support, food assistance, cash/food for work/training and agriculture/livestock support from multiple sources (Government, UN, I/L NGOs, relatives/friends/community members) during the six months preceding the survey.
• Agriculture/livestock related support during the lean period • Support on improving crop production, crop diversification, drought resistant crops, climate smart agriculture • Support in establishment of agro-forestry nurseries and promotion of agro/ farm forestry • Construction /rehabilitation of existing irrigation infrastructure, improvement of conventional irrigation system, water conservation, introduction of micro-irrigation system and water harvesting • Capacity building of farmers through Farmers Field Schools (FFS), Farm Business School (FBS) and Women Open Schools • Cash based interventions for provision of fodder during the lean period • Extending livestock related assistance (fodder/feed, medicines/vaccinations) to needy and vulnerable livestock/poultry rearers • Trainings on livestock and poultry rearing, Livestock Farmer Field Schools (LFFS), LEGS training
Food Security and Nutrition
• Cash plus interventions particularly focusing on women headed and other vulnerable households in collaboration with BISP • Integration of cash transfer programmes and social protection to address food security and nutrition • Training on kitchen gardening, diet diversity, food processing and food safety • Enhanced provision and integration of nutrition support programmes • Ensure provision of vitamin A supplementation • Provision of micronutrients through food supplementation and food fortification • Regular monitoring of food security, nutrition and livelihoods through seasonal surveys
• Trainings on skills enhancement • Direct and indirect market support interventions
Water and Sanitation
• Support for construction of water tanks, installation of hand pumps, solar water purifiers • Improve and increase water storage at household and community level • Cash for work on improvement of water sources • Provision of water at subsidized rates during lean period • Improve access to safe sanitation facilities at household, community and institution level • Carry out hygiene promotion activities at household, community and institutional level