Millions of livestock have been affected by the floods in Pakistan and are badly in need of food and medicine, FAO said.
Around 200 000 cows, sheep, buffalo, goats and donkeys have already been confirmed as dead or missing but the final numbers will be much higher, possibly into the millions. If you count poultry losses, then millions of animals have already died with the entire poultry stock wiped out in some areas. FAO estimates that millions of surviving animals are now facing severe feed shortages, threatening generations of Pakistan's livestock.
Many animals died because people had to leave them behind when they were rescued by the Pakistan military and other rescue services. You could put chickens, goats and sheep in the boat and take them with you but you could not take a buffalo or a cow, said Simon Mack, Chief, FAO Livestock Production Systems Branch.
FAO field staff report that in the Sindh province, flood victims are turning up at concentration points with large numbers of animals.
The floods have affected the most densely populated livestock areas in Pakistan. Livestock make up about half of agricultural GDP.
The main priority — and challenge — is to get feed to those animals that have survived as much of the country's traditional animal feed — straw and forage — has been lost in the floods. For buffalo and cattle, it is essential to enable the herds to rebuild quickly during the next breeding season.
The UN has asked for $5.7 million in emergency assistance for livestock and FAO has mobilized $1.4 million of funds for the procurement of feedstuff and for animal health vaccines. FAO will be asking for more money for this sector once the full scale of needs is clear.
Source: Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations