WFP Pakistan Country Brief, May 2020

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In Numbers

3,060 mt of food distributed

US$ 57.6 million six months (June-November 2020) net funding requirements representing 69 percent of total.

317,446 people assisted in April 2020

Operational Updates

• To support the Government’s response to COVID-19, WFP is co-chairing the Logistics and Supply Chain Working Group with Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA). This working group brings together NDMA, heads of UN agencies, international financial institutions, and the Ministry of Health, to optimise the supply chain management of critically needed supplies for the COVID-19 response. WFP is leading a national-level logistics capacity assessment to help the Government identify gaps in warehouse and distribution networks, in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation (FAO), the Ministry of Health and other stakeholders. WFP is also facilitating the improved management and integration of data in national logistics management information systems and enabling the COVID-19 UN Partner Platform and Supply Chain Portal (designed to help governments and partners procure and distribute personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical equipment).

• To support Pakistan’s most vulnerable population during the pandemic, WFP has conducted a rapid assessment to prioritize the districts with high food insecurity, prevalence of malnutrition and susceptibility to natural hazards. The information has been overlaid with the prevalence of COVID-19 to provide a clearer picture of the overall vulnerability situation.
Findings are being used by relevant stakeholders to assist with integrated response planning.

• As co-chair of the National Education Development Partners Group, WFP is engaging with partners to roll out the Global Partnership for Education’s Accelerated Funding (US$ 20m) for Pakistan. The Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training will be coordinating with provincial governments and allocating support to provinces based on their COVID-19 response plans.

• In May, WFP disbursed US$ 1m as part of its food assistance for assets initiative in Sindh and Balochistan to support drought affected communities. Families were assisted through cash-based transfers for participating in community rehabilitation activities. One female participant from Sindh, named Magho Kheto, said: “While I was participating in WFP’s FFA programme, my husband, a daily wage earner, lost his job due to the COVID19 lockdown. Luckily, I had just received some money from WFP for building a water pot shed in my house. This extra money helped us manage our expenses for some time. I still had to construct an elevated pot shelf and kitchen to receive the rest of the money from WFP. Since my husband was free, he decided to help me. The money we received from WFP is really helping us get through this difficult time. For me, the best part was that my husband assisted me! Its uncommon for the men in my village to help their women with work and for us to lead. Since, I was the one who participated in the training, I was the one telling him what to do!"

• In Pakistan, 40.2 percent of children under five are currently stunted according to the National Nutrition Survey (a prevalence considered ‘critical’ by WHO’s thresholds). In addition, 17.7 percent of this age group are wasted (the highest level of wasting in the country’s history) and 28.9 percent are underweight. According to the Lancet series 2008, the use of Specialized Nutritious Foods (SNF) is one of the most cost-effective interventions to reduce malnutrition. As SNF plays a vital role in improving nutritional status, WFP and the Ministry of Poverty and Social Protection initiated the development of a national commercialization policy for SNF to provide policy directions for their effective implementation in Pakistan. The goal of this policy is to improve nutritional outcomes of pregnant and lactating women and children under 2.