In this IPC Acute Food Insecurity analysis, 43 rural flood affected/vulnerable districts of Pakistan (18 of Balochistan, 16 of Sindh and nine of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) were focused, comprising of around 36.7 million rural population of the 43 districts and 16 percent of the Pakistan’s total population. Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh provinces in Pakistan have high prevalence of food insecurity and malnutrition and incidence of poverty.

Around 10.52 million rural people (29 percent of the 36.7 million rural population analysed) are estimated to be in IPC Phase 3 (Crisis) and Phase 4 (Emergency) in the current period (April-October 2023), which corresponds to the Rabi post-harvest season, plantation and harvest of Kharif (Summer) season crops and monsoon period. These include around 2.07 million people (6 percent of the population analysed) in IPC Phase 4 (Emergency) and around 8.45 million people (23 percent of the population analysed) in IPC Phase 3 (Crisis) across the 43 districts analysed. Urgent actions are therefore required to protect livelihoods and reduce food consumption gaps of people in crisis and to save lives and livelihoods of people in emergency.

Out of 43 rural districts analysed, five are classified in IPC phase 2 (Stressed) and remaining 38 are classified in IPC Phase 3 (Crisis) during the current analysis period. 21 districts have 35-45 percent of the rural population IPC Phases 3 (Crisis) and 4 (Emergency), whereas 17 districts have 20-30 percent of the population in this situation.

The analysis of the projection period (November 2023-January 2024), which corresponds to the Rabi (winter) season, plantation of Rabi (wheat) crops, pre-harvest lean period, indicates that the number of people in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) phases is expected to increase to 11.81 million from 10.52 million. It represents 32 percent of the rural population, and an increase of 1.29 million or 12 percent more people compared to the current period. Out of 43 rural districts analyzed, four are classified in IPC phase 2 (Stressed), 37 are classified in IPC Phase 3 (Crisis) and remaining two are classified in IPC Phase 4 (Emergency).

The analyzed districts experienced multiple shocks that include devastating 2022 monsoon rains/flooding, particularly in Sindh and Balochistan provinces, which adversely affected the food production, consumption, livelihoods of the flood-affected population and also limited the employment/livelihood opportunities. In addition, high food, fuel and agricultural inputs prices due to spill over effects of 2022 flooding and Russia-Ukraine crisis, poor political and economic situation, livestock diseases and snowfall/hail storms/rainfall in 2023 that also affected the major crops (wheat is the staple crop) of Rabi season, resulted in poor food security outcomes for the current period. The food security situation in the projection period is likely to deteriorate further due to the decreased wheat stocks of households, reduced employment/income opportunities in the lean season, high prices of food and essential non-food items such as fuel and agricultural inputs, anticipated climatic shocks, crops/plant diseases and livestock diseases. The food access is a major challenge and a limiting factor to acute food insecurity in Pakistan and exacerbated by the spill over effects of the 2022 flooding on food commodity prices and limited livelihood opportunities.

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