The Government of United Kingdom through its Department for International Development (DFID) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) virtually signed a project amendment agreement of the project Building Disaster Resilience in Pakistan for an additional allocation of UK£1000,000 to continue efforts to contain the desert locust upsurge.
The renewed commitment and partnership between DFID and FAO will contribute towards efforts for effective surveillance and timely control operations of the desert locust outbreak amid the challenges and constraints already posed by COVID19 to the livelihoods of vulnerable small-holder farmers.
The activities supported by DFID will help strengthen Government and farmers’ capacities in surveillance and monitoring of the locust, for identification of the threat and evaluation of risk for informed decisions and to combat the Desert Locust infestation and improve locust management in Pakistan. The agreement was virtually signed by Head of DFID Pakistan Anabel Gerry and FAO Representative in Pakistan Minà Dowlatchahi.
Anabel Gerry said that i am proud of supporting Pakistan in these testing times with the urgent need of controlling desert locusts in the affected areas. This timely intervention will enable food security and sustainable agriculture for over 18,000 vulnerable farmers.
Minà Dowlatchahi said that it is great that we were able to work with FAO to rapidly respond to the devastating situation, and save crops and livelihoods especially during the COVID-19 crisis.
He further said that while Surveillance and control operations are well underway in Pakistan, this contribution is timely in helping equip Government and farmers for an effective response to the largest locust infestation in the last 25 years with upgraded equipment for control operations, technology for surveillance and knowledge for analysis and decision-making.
FAO will work in close collaboration with the National Ministry of Food Security and Research, Departments of the Plant Protection, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and the Provincial Disaster Management Authorities (PDMAs) to build capacities of the relevant government departments and local farming communities living in locust-prone and affected areas.