The prolong war on terror in the tribal belt of Pakistan (FATA) has compelled the local population to flee from their native areas. They have left their houses, agriculture lands and all assets and were living either in IDPs camps or host communities. In 2010, after government declared some parts of the tribal belt as safe and people started return to their homelands. Soon after their return they found their damaged houses and damaged agriculture infrastructures and hence there were no opportunities to stand back on their feet. People escaping from danger to their lives had entered into another experiment of their survival. During this conflict crisis the local populations have lost everything except hope that keeps them optimistic for rapid settlement in their hometowns. However, due to unemployment and having no source of incomes, these people have to rely only on the external assistance.

According to the census of 1998, FATA had a total population of 3.2 million with a growth rate of 2.2% annually.

The economy of FATA is shaped by a number of factors including geography, topography, political instability, security, social and cultural traditions and socio-economic dynamics. In general, there are few livelihood opportunities, with employment largely dependent on agricultural activities with few fertile valleys. With only very limited economic opportunities, most of the population is engaged in primary level subsistence activities such as agriculture, livestock rearing or local small-scale businesses. Others are involved in trade within tribal built or local security; some have migrated in the hope of securing greater economic security.

There are few reliable statistics on socio-economic indicators in FATA. The government estimates recording that some of the 60% population of FATA is living below poverty line. The local economy has also been significantly affected by the Afghan refugees and reduced the livelihood opportunities for the locals.

Food-for-Work (FFW) projects function as welfare safety nets for poor communities in food insecure areas, and represent a transition between emergency relief and the achievement of long term development objectives. Rather than distributing free food aid to those in need, the concept of food-for-work prescribes that able-bodied people work for a food wage. FFW concept typically revolves around either labor-intensive public works such as road construction/rehabilitation, water channels or income generating activities like starting a kitchen garden. In this way, the projects hope to address deficits in food supply and at the same time improve the local infrastructure or create a self-sustaining livelihood, both of which will strengthen the capacity of the community to cope with droughts or other shocks in the future.

United Nations World Food Programme stand side by side with these conflict affected population to restore their livelihoods in short term through Food For Work activities and in long term through capacity building and rehabilitation of agriculture based infrastructure and activities. BEST in collaboration with UN-WFP initiated FFW interventions in 3 FATA agencies (Kurram, Orakzai and SWA) to restore the livelihoods of the conflict affected population in the target areas. The project activities are implemented in close coordination with political administration and agriculture extension department to ensure transparency and achieve positive and long term impacts.


The project interventions were started in 3 Federally Administered Tribal Areas, including Kurram, Orakzai and South Waziristan Agencies. These agencies are located in the south belt of KPK having long border line with Afghanistan. All the 3 agencies were severely affected during the conflict and war like situation. Majority of the people had to flee due to long military operation in the area. People have left their homes, agriculture land and assets to escape at safe places.  The area selection within agencies was carried out in mutual consultation with political administration and agriculture extension departments of the concerned agencies. While selecting areas for interventions, security, accessibility and damages in the area were considered on priority basis.

Before the initiation of project interventions brief meetings were held with political administrations and agriculture extension departments to assess the overall situation, potential areas for interventions and security situation of the areas. The respective political administrations of target agencies proposed to initiate interventions in nearby and secure tehsils. In this connection Sarwakai and Sara Rogha tehsils of SWA, Lower Kurram Agency and Lower Orakzai were selected for the proposed interventions.




The ultimate objective of the Food for Work is to meet the food needs of conflict affected population by engaging them in FFW activities with focus on rehabilitation of damaged infrastructure and productive assets which are critical to their livelihoods. Food for work is incentives based approach which helps the communities to initiate the reconstruction and rehabilitation activities and bring life to normality and mitigated the possible chances of hunger in the aftermath of a great disaster in the selected target areas.


BEST was assigned 3 FATA agencies (Kurram, Orakzai and South Waziristan)for early recovery Food for Work activities for a planned caseload of 19,005 households. The beneficiaries were selected living in these target agencies and fulfilling the BEST-WFP agreed beneficiary’s selection criteria as below,

  • Those Households who had lost their house due to conflict, military operation and flood.
  • Those Households who had lost their crops and agriculture land.
  • Those Households who had inadequate food availability.
  • Those household with average monthly income less than Pak Rupees 8,000
  • Those household with large family size and having unemployment members

Persons with disability, chronic diseases, old age, widows, child or woman headed families

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