ISLAMABAD: The World Food Program (WFP) said on Friday it was “compelled” to scale down its assistance in flood-ravaged Pakistan as it faced a shortage of $107 million in humanitarian funds.
Pakistan saw record-breaking floods last summer, which submerged a third of the country, affected over 33 billion people and caused $30 billion in economic losses. Over 1,700 people were killed in the deluges.
Months later, hundreds of thousands of people remain in need of humanitarian assistance as large swathes in Pakistan’s south and southwest haven’t completely dried out and the WFP says the food security situation continues to deteriorate.
“WFP faces a shortfall of $107 million for its ongoing flood response. Despite persistent humanitarian needs, WFP has been compelled to scale down its assistance from mid-February 2023,” the WFP said in a statement.
An additional 1.1 million people are likely to slip from a food security crisis to an emergency situation by early 2023, WFP said, bringing the total number of people in need of emergency assistance to 5.1 million.
“An additional $14.4 million is required to meet the basic humanitarian needs of an additional 1.1 million people,” the statement read.
“Timely funding and consistent humanitarian support is urgently needed to prevent further food insecurity.”
In January, donors at a day-long international conference on ‘Climate Resilient Pakistan’ in Geneva pledged around $8.57 billion to help Pakistan recover from the deadly floods and rebuild affected areas.
About 90 percent of the commitments for the recovery would be rolled out as project loans over the next three years, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said after the Geneva meeting. The rest was aid.
The pledges also depend on a green light from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on a latest review of the South Asian country’s $7 billion bailout program, stalled since November.