FAO assisting Pakistan in formulating anti-drought policy: Mina

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Our Correspondent

Multan

Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) representative in Pakistan Ms Mina Dowlatchahi said on Friday that the FAO was assisting and working closely with the
government to formulating a policy on drought at provincial level to help build resilience among drought-hit people to survive.
In a media briefing at the FAO Multan office on her maiden visit to the city of saints, she hoped that the drought policy would soon be unveiled by the government.
FAO project manager Faheem said that drought policy had already been formulated in Sindh province to focus particularly on plight of residents of Tharparkar while the policy in Punjab was in the process to focus inhabitants of Cholistan desert in Punjab.
Mina described tackling climate change and education modernisation as the top most challenges that Pakistan was facing these days.
She said, the FAO was successfully executing ‘Building Disaster Resilience in Pakistan’ (BDRP) programme, funded by the DFID, in three districts of Punjab including Jhang, Muzaffargarh and Rajanpur that are most vulnerable to extreme events like floods.
It links also with the efforts the government was making through its agriculture emergency programme.
She said the BDRP was aimed at building capacity of inhabitants of areas and those hit by floods to minimize hazardous impact on agriculture and livestock through long, medium and short term strategies.
She said that under the BDRP, FAO interacted at the institutional level as well as the down-trodden local communities and so far built resilience among 17,000 people through capacity building.
Project manager Faheem said the second phase of the BRDP as in
progress in three districts of Punjab, four districts of Sindh and two districts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Objective of the programme was to strengthen weaker segments of society like small farmers who get low returns from their crop productions. Programme is aimed at increasing their production and to create enabling environment to fetch good returns of their produce to them.
Faheem disclosed that FAO was planned to introduce a new project to help Pakistan tackle challenges posed by climate change.