Ministry of National Food Security and Research Is Ensuring Maximum Finance for Anti Locust operation.

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FILE PHOTO: A desert locust is seen feeding on a plantation in a grazing land on the outskirt of Dusamareb in Galmudug region, Somalia December 22, 2019. REUTERS/Feisal Omar/File Photo

Islamabad: Ministry of National Food Security and Research(MNFS&R) is ensuring maximum financing for anti-locusts operation. For this purpose World Bank (WB) has promised USD 200 mn and ADB USD 150 mn. The promised WB finance will be considered under Locusts Emergency and Food Security Project (LEAFS).The concept note has been approved by Economic Affairs Division (EAD).The PC I has also been prepared and will be submitted in upcoming meeting of CDWP.LEAFS is the first federal agricultural project financed by the World Bank in Pakistan. This is a direct response to the consensus that MNFS&R’s policy function and coordination role across provinces should be significantly strengthened. MNFS&R is responsible for overall project implementation with the support of provincial governments, DPP, NLCC, FAO and NDMA. The project cost envelope is 200 Million USD.Locust Emergency and Food Security Project (LEAFS) will span out its activities in 18 districts/locations (9 in Balochistan, 4 in Punjab, 4 in Sindh and 1 in KPK). The specific project objectives will be embarked on Control of the locust outbreak, Mitigate negative social and economic impact associated with locust attack and Strengthen the national food security system.MNFS&R will take overall coordination role of the project implementation through establishing a Federal Project Steering Committee (FPSC), responsible for approval of annual work plans, monitor/review of financial reporting, third party validation if needed, midcourse corrections in the project and re-allocation of funds. Emergency and Food Security (LEAFS) project will comprise of 4 main components, including surveillance and control measures to limit the growth and spread of current desert locust populations, while mitigating the risks on human health and environment. Second component is livelihood protection and rehabilitation to provide a robust protection scheme that ensures immediate relief to affected farmers and livestock owners. Third is early warning preparedness and food security to strengthen national capacity for early warning and early response, linking these efforts to regional (outside of Pakistan) and provincial (domestic) existing locust surveillance and control networks .The fourth component is project management, and monitoring and evaluation to support the Project Management Unit’s (PMU) capacity to ensure high quality project implementation .The primary beneficiaries of the Project will be farmers and agricultural labourers of Pakistan who live in areas prone to desert locust infestation. For these groups, the proposed project will prevent locust infestations from damaging their livelihoods and provide compensatory income support opportunities for the affected farmers and agricultural laborers. MNFS&R will be a major beneficiary due to a strengthened Food Security and Nutrition Information System.

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