Uplifting rural Pakistan
European Union and FAO boost small farmers’ food production
Just in time for the upcoming planting season, the European Union (EU) put in motion a major effort to turn the tide of rising hunger in Pakistan. Partnering with FAO, quality seed and fertilizer were distributed to almost 100 000 farmers hit hard by last year's food price hikes.
Soaring food prices pushed a further ten million Pakistanis into the ranks of the hungry—the total number of hungry people in the country is now estimated at 46 million, or 28 percent of the population, according to a UN assessment report published in July 2008. There were 36 million hungry people in Pakistan in 2004-06, according to FAO hunger statistics.
The country has become a priority of the € 1 billion European Union Food Facility (EUFF), the EU's massive response to increased food insecurity around the world. "When this crisis hit, we worked hard to get a big slice for Pakistan," says Hans de Kok, the EU's Ambassador to Pakistan. It worked. "Now, this country is the biggest beneficiary of the Food Facility, partly because it suffered badly, and partly because of some of the difficulties the country is going through, not just in farming, but also in security and economically."