Partner/Member: Community World Service Asia (CWSA) / Presbyterian World Service & Development (PWS&D)
For over a decade, CWSA, a humanitarian and development organization headquartered in Karachi, has staged many initiatives throughout Pakistan, one of the top 10 food crisis countries in the world.
Tassaduq Hussein is CWSA’s emergency program coordinator and the lead for Canadian Foodgrains Bank’s Humanitarian Early Recovery Development (HERD) program. Currently, PWS&D is supporting CWSA in a six month project in Pakistan’s Umerkot district, which has been highly affected by climate change including regular droughts and flooding.
“We are providing in-kind food assistance under the humanitarian phase to the target communities for six consecutive months to meet their food needs,” explained Hussein. “We provide agriculture inputs, livestock, training to communities on climate smart agriculture, kitchen garden and livestock management.”
Vadhri, a young widow with three children, lives in Rohiraro village in Umerkot. A skilled embroiderer of Sindhi skullcaps, she toils on each one for up to a week, earning about 800 Pakistani rupees (C$5), but rare is a month where she was able to make more than four caps.
A resourceful mother, she also started a small store selling general merchandise in her village, and tends a small garden with a few goats as well as lentils, millet and guar. Even so, she was only able to feed her children two meagre meals a day until CWSA field staff selected her for food assistance.
She is now feeding her family three meals a day and her children are eating better than they ever did. Thanks to tuition support, her eldest goes to school and is thriving because of nutritious food.
In order to increase community strength in livestock management, climate smart agriculture and gender issues, CWSA is also distributing seasonal and kitchen garden seeds and giving livestock to 100 women-headed households. Female artisans with embroidery skills like Vadhri are also being trained on marketing skills so they can better generate income.
CWSA response to Pakistan floods
Due to catastrophic flash flooding this summer, 60 percent of the population in Umerkot district is under water, almost 8,000 houses have been partially destroyed and 88,885 acres of crop area has been adversely affected. CWSA is responding with emergency cash assistance to flood-affected communities in Umerkot as well as the Mirpur Khas district.
For more information on our response to the Pakistan Floods, click here.
This article was originally published in the Fall 2022 edition of Breaking Bread. Download your copy here.