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Ensuring food security during disasters essential: NDMA head

National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Chairman Lt Gen Omar Mahmood Hayat on Tuesday said that ensuring food security during disasters was essential for saving lives.

He stated this while addressing the audience at the launching ceremony of ‘Integrated Context Analysis (ICA) Report on Vulnerability to Food Insecurity and Natural Hazards’. The NDMA chairman stated that food was a basic human need and essential for sustaining life under all circumstances.

“While ensuring appropriate nourishment remains a challenge in itself, it gets extremely demanding during natural disasters. ICA is a globally adopted and proven programmatic tool of immense value to the decision-makers to support strategic planning of safety net, disaster risk reduction, early warning and preparedness,” the chairman said. The chairman said that NDMA was poised for endeavoring to foster resilience in identified areas in cooperation with all stakeholders and implementation partners. “DRR and ICA is a living process. It can be repeated with fresh data and more relevant inputs in future. I am sure, NDMA and WFP will continue to cooperate towards ICA+ in near future as long term partners in humanitarian efforts,” he said.

The report was jointly prepared by NDMA and World Food Programme (WFP). To oversee the whole process, a steering committee as well as technical committees were formed having representatives from Planning Commission of Pakistan, Ministry of National Food Security and Research, Ministry of Climate Change, Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, SUPARCO and other agencies

The report identifies and ranks all 156 districts of four provinces and three regions of Pakistan by the level of recurrence of two main natural hazards (flood, drought) and additional contextual information (population density, land cover). Districts are categorised in five main categories, indicating various levels of vulnerability.

Based on technical findings, Programmatic Part of the ICA Report has also been developed through a consultative process and seeking input from provincial line departments. This report provides a solid foundation for effective planning, targeting and decision making for medium and long term programmatic strategies aimed at reducing food vulnerability. It also helps guide subsequent Seasonal Livelihood Programming at the district level and Community-based Participatory Planning at the community level.

Neil Buhne, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator, Finbarr Curran, the World Food Programme country director, and NDMA Operations Member Brig Mukhtar Ahmed also highlighted various aspects of the ICA Report.

Staff Report. Ensuring food security during disasters essential: NDMA head. Daily Times, October 18, 2017.

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