World Bank to give $22.2m to Pakistan’s flood-hit farmers

According to a statement from the Ministry of National Food Security and Research, the World Bank will pay $22.2 million in “financial help” to Pakistan for the rehabilitation of flood-affected farmers.

On Thursday in Islamabad, Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Tariq Bashir Cheema and World Bank South Asia Regional Director for Sustainable Development John A. Roome made the announcement.

While discussing the rehabilitation and relief efforts in flood-affected areas regarding the farming community and food security, he stated that the World Bank’s Locust Emergency and Food Security (LEAFS) project would support the rehabilitation of the farming community in flood-affected districts and locust-affected areas.

Roome said he would also ask the World Bank Group Board to extend assistance for Pakistan “to recover from the unprecedented devastation inflicted by floods.”

He noted that the bank collaborates with provincial agriculture agencies to support the rural community.

Cheema noted that floods and rainfall had decimated the agricultural industry and rural community. “At this critical time, we are solely focused on restoring normalcy to the flood-affected districts through rehabilitation efforts.”

He stated that his government intended to subsidize seeds and fertilizers to assist farmers severely damaged by floods.

“On a cost-sharing basis with the provinces, the federal government would offer discounted inputs to flood-affected farmers for the upcoming Rabi season. The proposed subsidy may be offered to the federal cabinet in the near future. He informed the audience.

In addition, he emphasized that the government intended to offer each impacted farmer subsidized wheat, edible oil seeds, and one bag of fertilizer per acre.

He stated that the funds would be distributed through provincial governments and the NDMA.

In a separate meeting, Cheema instructed the Department of Plant Protection (DPP) to prepare a detailed plan to deliver seeds and fertilizers to flood-affected districts by the month.

In addition, he ordered authorities to “rigorously investigate breeding and swarming regions to take corrective measures” against locust infestations.

According to the National Disaster Management Authority, massive monsoon downpours in Pakistan flooded a third of the country — an area the size of the United Kingdom — and killed around 1,600 people.

The authority reported in its daily status report that seven more persons had died in the preceding twenty-four hours.