Pakistan floods challenge Afghanistan food supply: UN

Children waiting in a queue to receive food in aid in Kabul on January 18, 2022.

Recent devastating floods in various parts of Pakistan would challenge efforts to supply food to Afghanistan to relieve its humanitarian crisis, the United Nations warned on Friday.

The UN’s World Food Program (WFP) said much of the food aid transited through Pakistan by road, a network that has been severely affected recent floods.

“We’re focused absolutely on the needs of the people in Pakistan right now but the ramifications of what we’re experiencing here go wider,” WFP’s Pakistan country director Chris Kaye said as quoted by AFP.

“With roads that have been washed away, that presents us with a major logistical challenge,” Kaye told reporters in Geneva, via video-link from Dubai.

He said there was a “major problem” in restoring agricultural production in Pakistan to feed its own people and continue supplying food to Afghanistan.

A further issue was that the wheat harvest was being stored in flooded areas of Pakistan, and “a large proportion of the wheat has been washed away,” the official said.

According to WFP official, the food security situation in Pakistan was “grave” even before the floods, with 43 percent of people food insecure and the country ranking at 92 out of 116 on the Global Hunger Index.

Monsoon rains have affected a third of Pakistan, claiming more than 1,000 lives since June. Pakistani officials have blamed climate change for the catastrophe.