Korea to donate $0.2 million to help Pakistan combat locusts

Will support smallholder farmers who are most at risk of food shortage

APP March 20, 2020

MIRPUR: South Korea is donating $200,000 to help the government of Pakistan respond to the worst locust infestation in more than two decades, stated a press release issued by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) on Thursday.

The contribution will be channelled through the United Nations WFP and FAO and go towards supporting smallholder farmers, who are most at risk of food shortage due to the crisis.

“Sympathising with Pakistani farmers’ suffering and damages from desert locust, the Korean government has decided to participate in helping Pakistani government’s relief effort,” said Korean Ambassador Kwak Sung-Kyu.

“I hope this support will serve as a good momentum to upgrade bilateral agricultural cooperation between Korea and Pakistan including currently ongoing project to establish KOPIA (Korea Programme on International Agriculture) centre in Pakistan.”

FAO representative in Pakistan Minà Dowlatchahi said, “Concerted efforts will help address the imminent threat of desert locust to ensure food security, nutrition and sustainable agriculture.”

“We are grateful for the timely support from the Republic of Korea,” said WFP representative and Country Director Chris Kaye.

“Our priority is not only to help communities protect their crops and livelihoods, but also build their resilience so that they withstand such shocks better in the future.”

WFP and FAO will work together under the “Critical support for desert locust prevention and control operations in Pakistan” project to build the capacities of relevant government departments and local farming communities living in locust-prone and affected areas. The project will be implemented in close collaboration with the Departments of Plant Protection and Agriculture, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and Provincial Disaster Management Authorities (PDMAs).

Published in The Express Tribune, March 20th, 2020.

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