FAO helps Pakistan cope with natural disasters such as floods, quakes, droughts

FAO helps Pakistan cope with natural disasters such as floods, quakes, droughts

25/01/2016

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), together with representatives from the national, provincial, and regional level Disaster Management Authorities and other relevant institutions, and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) finalized the Institutional Assessment on the integration of Disaster Risk Management (DRM) into the Agriculture Sector of Pakistan.

“This assessment is a key tool to further develop the capacity of the agriculture sector institutions to mainstream the disaster risk management, with a special focus on disaster risk reduction, in their planning and action” noted Francisco Gamarro, Deputy Representative of FAO in Pakistan speaking to the participants of the workshop, held at the FAO office in Islamabad.

Each year, Pakistan is struck by a multitude of natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes, droughts, landslides or avalanches, among others. Agriculture is one of the sectors most affected by these phenomena. With a 21 percent share of the national GDP and a 45 percent share of Pakistan’s total workforce, it is crucial that the sector is able to prevent and mitigate the impact of disasters.

The study has been carried out together with the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in order to identify the areas and measures which need to be strengthened. Comprehensive interviews with all key stakeholders, including vulnerable communities, provincial, regional and district level disaster management authorities, CSOs, and all government departments responsible for the agriculture sector where carried out. It also identified the strengths and weaknesses, as well as needs of disaster risk management systems of all relevant institutions.

The process was validated through a series of workshops with key stakeholders across the country. Today’s workshop was the seventh and final discussion designed to finalize the findings and recommendations of the assessment, and obtain endorsement of all key stakeholders. “This study will open new avenues to address the gaps and integrate DRR in the agriculture sector,” said Mohammad Ashraf, Member NDMA, at the conclusion of the workshop.

The assessment will be published by FAO and, in collaboration with NDMA, distributed to all the stakeholders. The NDMA will work with them to pursue the implementation of the recommendations of the study.