QUETTA, PAKISTAN – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today handed over management of a Humanitarian Response Facility (HRF) to the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) Balochistan in Chashma Achozai, Quetta district. This is the second WFP-built facility to be handed over to the government; the first was in Muzaffargarh district of Punjab province in February this year.
Chief Secretary, Government of Balochistan, Babar Yaqoob Fateh Muhammad was the guest of honor on the occasion. Lola Castro, WFP Representative and Hashim Khan Ghilzai, Director General, PDMA signed the handing over documents. Major-General Muhammad Saeed Aleem, Chairman of the NDMA, attended the event alongside representatives from the Embassy of Australia and Japan as well as other government and WFP officials.
“Strengthening disaster preparedness and response capacity is a priority for WFP,” said Lola Castro. “By establishing these humanitarian response facilities, WFP and partners aim to form a humanitarian warehousing network in the country. This will contribute to an effective and reliable logistics response mechanism at district level and, together with the Government of Pakistan, protect and empower communities most at risk.”
The warehouse in Chashma Achozai will serve as a logistics base in the province of Balochistan, which has been hit by floods, earthquakes and droughts. It has an overall storage capacity of 4,000 metric tons and is in a 15-acre site provided by the Government of Balochistan. The project is valued at US$4 million.
The facility includes permanent and pre-fabricated office space, storage facilities as well as a climate-controlled area for temperature-sensitive relief items. The structure is earthquake resistant and its construction also takes into account other environmental hazards.
Recurring natural disasters in Pakistan substantiate the need to strengthen the country’s emergency disaster preparedness and response capacity at all levels.
To improve the response to such calamities, WFP and the Government of Pakistan are cooperating to establish a system of eight strategically located HRFs at provincial level to pre-position relief supplies as well as enhance the national emergency response capacity.
The project is being implemented in close coordination with the National Disaster Management Authority and Provincial Disaster Management Authorities of Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu & Kashmir with generous funding provided by the governments and people of Japan, Australia, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands and the United States of America.
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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food in emergencies and working with communities to build resilience. In 2013, WFP assisted more than 80 million people in 75 countries.
In Pakistan, WFP has been present since 1968 and works in close collaboration with the Government of Pakistan aligning its strategies with national priorities addressing sustainable food security and nutrition in the country and also focusing on enhancing national resilience to disasters, crises and external shocks. WFP aims to assist 8.3 million people between 2013 and 2015 at a total cost of US$535 million, seeking to improve economic opportunities and promote social inclusion in FATA, boost community resilience in disaster-prone areas, and address nutrition and education across the country.