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IFAW Launches Emergency Feed Program in Pakistan
YARMOUTH PORT, Mass. - August 31 - The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW, www.ifaw.org) announced today the start of a relief program that will feed thousands of animals impacted by the record-breaking floods that have devastated Pakistan. IFAW has partnered with the local humanitarian group Ravi Foundation already active in the province of Punjab.
According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) some 200,000 cows, sheep, buffalo, goats and donkeys have already been lost and millions more have been affected. Flooding has now displaced an additional one million people who often find no other option but to leave livestock and companion animals behind. The now abandoned animals are a principal source of livelihood for Pakistan’s rural population. Millions of flood victims are entirely dependent on the upcoming harvest season and the vital role of draft animals to help plow the land.
“With more than four million people homeless, we know that there are hundreds of thousands of animals affected. This program will focus on getting feed to the most severely affected areas as quickly as possible,” said Dr. Dick Green IFAW Manager for Disasters.
In the first stage of the operation IFAW is sourcing 230 tons of wheat straw, wheat bran and pallet feed to substitute Pakistan’s traditional animal feed of standing crops and forage that has been washed away by the floods. The first feeding operation will target five union councils in the Layyah District of Southern Punjab.
“Since the flash floods began, we have made assessments in different areas in Southern Punjab,” said Ashfaq Fateh, Ravi Foundation Animal Feed Program lead. “We observed that livestock and companion animals were neglected in the relief operations. The government vaccinated a number of affected animals, however, there is an acute shortage of drinking water and feed,” added Fateh.
To ensure a smooth and transparent distribution of the feed, public representatives and government officials will be present at the Livestock District Officer’s headquarters in affected areas in Layyah district surrounds.