Pakistan: National emergency declared against locusts; Rs 7.3 billion alloted
Islamabad, Feb 02: The Pakistan government has declared national emergency to eliminate the attacking swarms of desert locust which are destroying crops on a large scale in Punjab province after wiping out the same in Sindh.
The decision was taken at a meeting convened by Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday. The meeting attended by federal ministers and senior officials of the country's four provinces approved a Rs 7.3 billion national action plan (NAP) to overcome the crisis, the Dawn reported.
Minister for National Food Security Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar informed the National Assembly about the gravity of the situation and the steps so far taken by the federal and provincial governments to deal with the crisis.
The meeting was informed that besides involving the officials concerned at the provincial and district levels, different tasks have been given to the NDMA, provincial disaster management authorities and federal and provincial departments to deal with the threat.
Prime Minister Khan ordered formation of a high-level committee to be headed by Khusro Bakhtiar to take decisions for elimination of locust swarms. The prime minister directed the authorities concerned to make immediate measures on the basis of damage of ripened crops.
"Protection of farms and farmers is the highest priority of the government. Therefore, the federal government should take all necessary steps to save national crops and provide required resources to the quarters concerned," he was quoted as saying by the daily.