Pakistan flood farmers appeal for help

Post Source: Farmers Gurdian

By William Surman

MILLIONS of livestock are either dead or in danger in Pakistan as the severe flooding continues to cause havoc in the countryside. More than 200,000 cows, sheep, buffalo, goats and donkeys are dead or missing, millions of poultry are dead and aid workers say the numbers continue to rise on a daily basis.

The surviving livestock are now desperately short of straw and forage as 700,000 hectares of standing crops are under water or destroyed, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Association has warned.

The UN has asked for $5.7 million (£3.7m) in emergency assistance to get immediate feed and medicine to the surviving animals.

“Livestock in this country are the poor people’s mobile ATM,” said David Doolan, Senior FAO Officer, in charge of FAO programmes in Pakistan.

“In good times people build up their herds and in bad times they sell livestock to generate cash. Every animal we save is a productive asset that poor families can use to rebuild their lives when the floods finally pass,” he added.

The floods hit the most densely populated livestock areas in Pakistan where 75 per cent of the population depends on agriculture for their livelihoods. As farmers fled the rising water they were forced to leave animals behind.

“You can put chickens, goats and sheep in the boat and take them with you but you can’t take a buffalo or a cow,” said Simon Mack, Chief, FAO Livestock Production Systems Branch.

The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) has set up a Pakistan flood appeal http://www.dec.org.uk/donate_now/ to help those affected.

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