By Hamid Khan Wazi
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Republic of Korea is donating US$200,000 to help the Government of Pakistan respond to the worst locust infestation in more than two decades.
“Sympathizing 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 on-going project to establish KOPIA center in Pakistan,” Sung added.
The contribution will be channeled through the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and goes towards supporting smallholder farmers who are most at risk of food shortage due to the crisis.
“Concerted efforts will help address the imminent threat of desert locust to ensure food security, nutrition, and sustainable agriculture,” said Minà Dowlatchahi, FAO Representative in Pakistan.
“We are grateful for the timely support from the Republic of Korea,” said Chris Kaye, WFP Representative, and Country Director. “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 the relevant government departments and local farming communities living in locus-prone and affected areas.
The project will be implemented in close collaboration with the Departments of the Plant Protection and Agriculture, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and the Provincial Disaster Management Authorities (PDMAs).