Low rains to affect Pakistan’s drought-hit areas: UN

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s drought-affected south-eastern areas are expected to receive below normal rains in the upcoming monsoon season which may further accentuate the situation in the region, a United Nations humanitarian agency said on Tuesday.
“Below normal rains are anticipated in most of Balochistan and Sindh, and in southern Punjab. Most of these areas already face a prolonged dry spell, resulting in a drought-like situation, especially in Tharparkar and adjoining districts of Sindh,” said UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), citing governmental estimations. These regions rely on monsoon rains for subsistence farming and fodder for the livestock. A below-normal rainfall will result in low fodder production, resulting in food insecurity and a possible increase in malnutrition rates, the OCHA said in its fresh humanitarian update.
“Normal rains are anticipated only over the north-western and northern regions of the country.” The OCHA cited the data of Pakistan Meteorological Department’s to suggest that the preliminary outlook for the 2014 monsoon season indicates most parts of the country will receive normal or below normal rain fall during the season. 
“The monsoon season spans the months of July to September in Pakistan. PMD’s weather forecast reinforces the prediction by the World Meteorological Organisation, which had forecast a below normal to normal monsoon rainfall across South Asia.”

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