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Pakistan: Current Acute Food Insecurity in selected Districts of Sindh February - August 2017

01/02/2017 - 28/08/2017

The results of the IPC acute analysis showed an alarming situation prevailing across all the 4 districts analyzed. The 4 districts were selected for the analysis based on their perceived vulnerability in the lean period. The results of the analysis clearly indi-cate an Emergency situation on going in all 4 districts requiring immediate attention.


The analysis is conducted for the pre-monsoon period and results are valid until the start of the monsoon. While it is not ex-pected that the vulnerability conditions will be alleviated it can be assumed that the start of the monsoon particularly in rain fed areas will lead to some changes. However a delayed start of the monsoon or a failed monsoon could lead to considerable deteri-oration.


As per the results, 3 out of the 4 districts were classified as Phase 4 (Emergency) as at least 20% population was in Phase 4, and only Umerkot was in Phase 3 (Crisis). It should be noted, however, that Umerkot while in Phase 3, is on the borderline with many indicators pointing to a Phase 4 scenario.


The IPC analysis reveals that a large proportion of households is facing food consumption gaps as seen through the proportion of households that were found to have Poor Food consumption (Food Consumption Score below 28), with around 20% in Jams-horo and Umerkot, and close to 46% for Tharparkar. In terms of household hunger, while there is a very small proportion of households experiencing extreme hunger, there is still a substantial proportion of households across the 4 districts experiencing moderate hunger. The food consumption gaps are further witnessed through the reduced coping strategy index which accounts for food based coping strategies. As per the results, 30% were engaging in “high coping” while 24% have utilized “medium cop-ing” indicating the existence of food consumption gaps that are covered only by using a range of coping strategies. The inability of households to meet their food needs is further indicated by the high rates of livelihood based coping strategies adopted, with almost 34% of households engaging i ”Emergency coping strategies” and 25% adopting crisis coping strategies.


Women dietary diversity is found to be very low and only 30% of women were consuming more than 5 food groups leaving 70% consuming an inadequate diet. While these are issues of food consumption quality, and not quantity which is the focus of IPC acute, this has major implications on household dietary intake. Comparatively around 80% of children were not consuming diet of minimum dietary diversity (Consuming more than 4 food groups). The poor levels of consumption are manifested through high levels of acute malnutrition also indicating an emergency situation. Recent nutrition data is available for Jamshoro, Umerkot and Tharparkar, and the results indicate a highly alarming situation with Acute Malnutrition rates in three districts exceeding the 15% Emergency threshold.


The major causal factors of the observed food insecurity in the districts is linked to Food Access and Utilization. Markets were generally functional and production of staples had either remained constant or had increased slightly. Therefore there was a general stability of availability of in the market. However resources to purchase food are quite limited. Around 45% of house-holds cannot afford to purchase food in markets. Additionally it was found that food stocks at household level were quite limited and around 45% of households had no food stocks. It was estimated that more than half the population is spending more than 75% of their total expenditure on food, leaving very little for other non-food expenditures. The proportion of households who took on debt to meet their household needs was around 70% for all districts.


Across all districts, there is a high dependence on unsustainable livelihood sources such as daily wage labor (agriculture and non-agriculture), and sale of livestock products. These livelihood sources impact the households considerably, making them highly vulnerable. Across the 4 districts, 87% of households rely on unsustainable livelihood sources with a large group relying on agriculture and non-agriculture wage labor and with low wage rates found in the districts ranging from 450 (Jamshoro) to 350 PKR (Sanghar and Tharparkar). Therefore these income generating activities are both low value and highly unstable.


Access to improved sources of water was relatively better with around 63% accessing water through improved sources. Howev-er access to improved sanitation was a major limiting factor as only 29% had access to improved sanitation facilities and 38% connected to drainage system.


Accessing heath care is a problem for all areas. Across all districts only 19% of households said that they faced no issues in accessing health care. The major restricting factors reported by households were long distance (46%), high cost of health ser-vice (47%) and unavailability of transport available (48%). Access to markets is also a somewhat limiting factor as average dis-tance to food market is 15 KMs and around 23% of households stated that they had to travel more than 20 km to access the nearest food market.


Download the report of IPC Acute Food Insecurity Analysis in Pakistan below >>

Food Security ClustersFEWS NETFAOThe Comité permanent Inter-Etats de Lutte contre la Sécheresse dans le Sahel (CILSS)CARE InternationalACF
The World Food Programme (WFP)unicefSICASave the ChildrenOxfamThe Joint research Center (JRC) of the European CommissionIGAD