The mega floods of 2010-11 hit Pakistan hard, both economically and socially, and have had a massive impact on land and agriculture. The path to recovery and reconstruction is long and full of challenges, but it is also an opportunity to tackle crucial structural issues, such as crippling inequalities in people’s rights and access to land. Most people who live in the rural areas affected by the floods are landless.
Lack of land ownership and insecure access to arable land are two of the major causes of rural poverty in Pakistan. The government of Pakistan should change how it approaches such issues to ensure comprehensive land rights for poor farmers, especially women. A comprehensive recovery and reconstruction plan that aims to ‘build back better’ must explicitly address land issues. Otherwise, millions of Pakistanis will remain trapped in deepening poverty, undermining the country’s recovery.
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