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The Pre-Crisis Market Analysis (PCMA) was conducted in the Jamshoro, Umerkot, and Tharparkar districts of Sindh, Pakistan in late 2016. The three districts studied contain different livelihoods zones and bear different levels of risk for chronic drought and sudden-onset emergency, affecting the markets for goats, fodder, and water.
The PCMA was premised on a drought emergency scenario for Umerkot and Tharparkar districts and both flood and drought for Jamshoro district. The PCMA looked at market functionality in ‘normal’ and ‘emergency’ times, how the market has responded to past emergencies, and how it might respond to future emergencies. The overall PCMA effort was focused on two critical markets: wheat flour and goats. This report focuses on the wheat flour market only.
The functionality of the wheat flour market system is strong in normal times; wheat is widely available across the districts. Shifts in demand can be accommodated without interruption of supply or significant price fluctuations. Food insecurity in the lowest wealth quintiles does not come from poor market functionality or lack of availability, but rather slow, incomplete or non-existent recovery from past natural disasters, lack of financial access, on-going drought and systemic iniquity that fosters chronic poverty. Poor and very poor households have little or no physical or financial capacity to store the wheat they produce; chronic indebtedness compels them to sell their harvest immediately to service debts. A majority of households in Sindh rely on the market for their cereals. Providing wheat flour directly to households without involving market actors in emergency-affected areas in the flood affected areas can negatively affect market actors, as was observed in past flood response efforts.
The report recommends striking a balance between meeting basic needs in emergency response, and mitigation and longer-term development and resilience efforts. Specifically, it recommends conducting targeting and needs assessment exercises, investing in school feeding programs, expanding the fortification of wheat flour and improving the regulation of wheat flour quality.