Major climate change resilience project in Pakistan secures funding
United Nations’ (UN) Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said the Board of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) has approved a FAO project designed to transform Pakistan’s Indus River Basin by making this vital food-producing region more resilient to climate change.
To be specific, GCF has provided FAO with a grant of nearly $35 million for this work, while the provincial governments of Punjab and Sindh have committed an additional $12.7 million in co-financing to be managed by FAO.
“We are at a critical moment that calls for bold climate action that can stimulate concrete solutions to help build resilience. The approval of this project – the first FAO-led GCF project in Asia – is an important step forward in FAO’s broader support to countries to respond to climate change, in partnership with the GCF,” Maria Helena Semedo, FAO Deputy Director-General, Climate and Natural Resources, said.
In the Indus River Basin, agriculture employs nearly 26 percent of Pakistan’s labour force and produces more than 90 percent of the country’s agriculture outputs. However, extended droughts and floods have affected millions of people in recent years.
Such extreme weather events are expected to become more frequent and severe in Pakistan as a result of climate change.
As temperatures continue to rise and precipitation patterns continue to change, water will become increasingly scarce and difficult for farmers to utilize, jeopardizing the food security and livelihoods of Indus Basin farmers, as well as overall food security in Pakistan.
“This new FAO project, thanks to support from the Green Climate Fund and the Government, will help shift Pakistan and its Indus Basin agriculture from a current situation of high vulnerability toward an alternative paradigm wherein better information, water management and farming practices will significantly increase resilience to climate change,” said Mina Dowlatchahi, FAO Representative in Pakistan.
“This is a major commitment and we look forward to working with government and other partners for the direct benefit of some 1.3 million rural people and indirectly for millions more,” she added.