In recent years, Pakistan has become a food surplus country and a major producer of wheat and rice. However, despite the growth in food production, the poorest and most vulnerable members of the population cannot afford a sufficient and nutritious diet.
Approximately 60 percent of the population is facing food insecurity and malnutrition is highly prevalent in Pakistan, according to the UN World Food Program (WFP). According to WFP, 44 percent of Pakistani children under 5 are stunted, 32 percent are underweight and 15 percent suffer from acute malnutrition.
Ongoing conflict between the Government of Pakistan (GoP) and militant groups, recurrent natural disasters—including drought, earthquakes, and floods—and economic instability exacerbate food insecurity and disrupt livelihood opportunities, particularly in rural areas. In the tribal areas in the northwestern region of the country, recurrent government security operations and ongoing violence have caused large-scale displacement.
As of October 2017, more than 32,400 Pakistani families remained displaced in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPk), according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
Additionally, an estimated 2.4 million displaced Afghans—including approximately 1.4 million registered refugees and one million unregistered Afghans—are living in Pakistan, according to the UN.
In Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (FFP) contributed $38 million to WFP for ongoing food assistance to conflict-affected households—including malnourished children and pregnant and lactating women—in FATA and KPk. This contribution supports the provision of locally and regionally procured food aid, cash transfers for food and for twinning, the milling and distribution of GoP-donated wheat.
FFP supports the complementary service of twinning, which covers logistics costs for GoP-donated wheat to meet the emergency needs of vulnerable populations in FATA and KPk. In FY 2017, the GoP donated 20,000 metric tons of wheat grain to WFP for emergency food assistance.
Additionally, FFP contributed more than $43,700 to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) as part of the UN agency’s life-saving nutritional activities in Balochistan and Pakistan Administered Kashmir.