United Nations Provides Agricultural Assistance to IDP’s of Tribal Areas

Islamabad: FAO Country Representative in Pakistan, Patrick T. Evans said that Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) provided agricultural assistance to More than 11,000 internally displaced families of Khurram and Khyber Agencies of FATA with the help of Government of Japan in the last six months.

According to press release Patrick T. Evans said at the project steering committee meeting that  “We are very pleased to work with Government of Japan to support the return of Internally displaced persons (IDP’s) to their homes,” the meeting was  attended by representatives of the Government of Pakistan, the Embassy of Japan, and FAO in Islamabad on February 10, 2016.

FATA has experienced extensive periods of instability and numerous natural disasters in the recent years. The ongoing military operations have led to a displacement of large numbers of people and caused major damage to the agriculture sector. Animals were abandoned or sold at distress prices; crops were abandoned in the fields; irrigation systems, animal shelters, and fish ponds and hatcheries were damaged or destroyed; and stocks of seed, fertilizers, and feed were lost. Since March 2015, the Government of Pakistan has been working with various stakeholders to facilitate the return of the displaced population to their homes.

To support this effort, FAO has partnered with JICA and the FATA Secretariat to implement the Assistance to the Recovery and Development of the Agricultural Economy in FATA Project in Khurram and Khyber agencies of FATA. “This project is working to address a variety of issues related to the return and settlement of families in these two agencies; it will facilitate the long-term recovery of the agricultural sector in the area,” noted Additional Secretary, Economic Affairs Division, Anjum Assad Amin at the meeting.

“We are happy to partner on this project to empower the people, particularly the women, to restore their lives and livelihoods,” said Takashi Harada, Economic Counsellor of the Embassy of Japan. Over its lifespan, this US$ 5 million project (July 2015-June 2017) will deliver assistance to a total of 26,000 households (approx. 182,000 individuals) in the two agencies. Activities include distribution of quality seed for Rabi and Kharif seasons, rehabilitation of fruit orchards and water courses, establishment of fruit nurseries, land reclamation, animal vaccination, and supplemental feeding for animals. Thousands of farmers, line department staff and agricultural service providers will receive agricultural training.

Through such sustainable agriculture development initiatives, FAO works to reduce poverty and economic inequalities, as well as support food security of vulnerable populations in FATA and other areas of Pakistan.

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