Pakistan Floods Prompt Food Shortages, Devastate Farmland
Pakistanis in the northwest part of the countryÂ face “life-threatening shortages” of foodÂ after flooding has killed 1,400 and “devastated the lives of more than three million people,” ReutersÂ reports. World Food Programme spokesman Amjad Jamal said,Â “People have lost their food stocks. The markets are not up and running. Shops have collapsed. People are definitely in the greatest need of food” (Ali, 8/4).
IRIN reports: “Shopkeepers were keeping back [food]stock in the hope prices would rise,” citing one shop that is only selling two kilos of flour at a time. Flooded roads and bridges were “hampering” the arrival of goods and aid. “Media reports â€¦ say some relief trucks have been looted and there were also claims of aid being unfairly distributed, with officials favouring relatives” (8/4).
The floods have also “swept away farmland and devastated livestock in Pakistan’s northwest, costing farmers millions of dollars and sparking demands for government compensation,” Agence France-Presse writes. “Entire villages have been swept away â€¦ Dead livestock have been left rotting in the mud. Irrigation systems have been wiped out” (Tarakzai, 8/3).