Food for Pakistan
Pakistan is the second-largest economy in South Asia. The country has achieved significant economic growth and a reduction in poverty over the years. However, chronic hunger and malnutrition are huge public health issues facing Pakistan today.
According to the 2022 Global Hunger Index – which measures the amount of hunger in every country- Pakistan has a level of hunger that is serious. So, food insecurity is alarmingly high in Pakistan.
Food security refers to when people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.
Out of the 4.66 million people in Pakistan, more than 1.03 million of them live in the emergency tier of food insecurity. With huge proportions of the population undernourished, this causes deficiencies of essential minerals and proteins and leads to long-term health issues like high blood pressure and heart disease.
Malnutrition also causes high infant mortality rates and stunted growth in children. Around 38% of children are malnourished, while four out of 10 children are underweight. This poses health risks such as functional disability, poor mental health, fragile skin, and a weak immune system.
Moreover, when pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers are severely malnourished, this puts babies at greater risk of stunted growth, infections, disabilities, chronic health issues and death.
The COVID-19 pandemic has also exacerbated the food crisis. In the last couple of years, the South Asian country has grappled with COVID-related health emergencies and high food prices as a result of the deadly coronavirus outbreak. The lockdowns also caused disruptions to supply chains, which made food even more difficult to access, especially for those living in poor, rural areas.
Food Crisis in Pakistan
Now, Pakistan is dealing with the repercussions of catastrophic floods which hit the country hard during the monsoon rainfall season of 2022. Unfortunately, the floods have created a humanitarian crisis in the country- which has worsened the chronic hunger problem in Pakistan.
The United Nations has warned that 5.7 million flood survivors will face a serious food crisis because of the floods. Roads, buildings, bridges and farmland have been washed away, robbing millions of people of their homes, livelihoods and food supplies.
Flooding has been particularly devastating in food-producing regions. An estimated 3 million livestock have died, and 65% of Pakistan’s main food crops (including 70% of its rice) have been swept away in the floods.
Meanwhile, water supply lines and sanitation facilities have faced major damage, so countless people across the country are struggling to access clean drinking water. Drinking contaminated water is a huge health hazard for the population. This unsafe water may contain bacteria, faecal matter and poisonous chemicals, which are dangerous for human consumption and even fatal.
Sadly, life-threatening diseases such as cholera and dengue fever are spreading fast amongst the survivors of the floods, which is leading to severe illness and even death. The polluted floodwater is also contaminating food supplies, which is an additional danger.
Thousands of people are currently living in relief sites, but many people cannot travel to them, as the roads are blocked and damaged by floodwater.
Medications and medical treatment are not readily available for people across flood-stricken areas, as hospitals, clinics and healthcare facilities have been destroyed. So, basic survival items are in short supply.
In the aftermath of this natural disaster, hunger levels are expected to rise. With goods in shortage, food prices have hiked further. Acres and acres of farmland are still underwater, which has destroyed grain reserves and thus left farmers unable to sow their crops for the coming harvests.
How is Zohra Foundation helping flood affectees in Pakistan
Due to the floods, many people in flood-affected areas have lost their incomes, so they cannot afford to buy food to feed themselves and their families. This has caused a huge demand for access to essential nutrition services.
But future disasters are another large threat to Pakistan, which will greatly increase the need for food supplies. The natural landscape of Pakistan makes it susceptible to climate change disasters like floods, heatwaves, earthquakes, droughts and tsunamis.
So, extreme weather conditions are a huge threat to agriculture. This adds enormous pressure for food supplies to meet the needs of vulnerable communities, especially when an emergency strikes.
As the flood waters recede, the team at Zohra Foundation is providing cooked meals, clean water, hygiene kits, medicines and essential supplies to support the growing number of people affected by the flooding in Pakistan. Additionally, the trained volunteers at Zohra Foundation are also rebuilding the homes that so many have lost during this catastrophe.
Zohra Foundation relies on donations from supporters to fund this emergency aid for the people who urgently need our help in this devastating humanitarian crisis.
Donate to Zohra Foundation today, so that the affected people in Pakistan can move forward and restore some normality in their lives.
Every penny helps- your donations will feed people who have no food and no money. The floods have stripped them of their main sources of food and income. So, they desperately need nutritious meals to help them survive this calamity and keep their families healthy.
Donate to the Pakistan Flood appeal here.
Yes. All projects at Zohra Foundation are Zakat eligible. In the last six years, we have saved the lives of thousands of vulnerable people across Pakistan through our free medical treatment and sponsorship programmes.
You can choose to make a one-off donation or donate on a monthly basis. By supporting Zohra Foundation with your Zakat and Sadaqah, you will be saving the life of someone in need and fulfilling your Islamic duty to care for elders.
Click here to view the Zakat Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and find out more.