Flooding in Pakistan Pakistan experiences a yearly monsoon season typically beginning in mid-June and lasting until late August. An abnormally extreme monsoon season in 2022, primarily affecting the Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces, has led to torrential rainfall. This 2022 rainfall has led to disastrous flooding in Pakistan, reportedly killing at least 1,700 and displacing 7.9 million.

As living conditions rapidly decline for those in the most heavily affected regions, the people that have been historically discriminated against receive the most serious repercussions. The provinces hit hardest by the flooding were housing an estimated 800,000 Afghan refugees. Given the falling value of their currency, coupled with the destruction of their homes and schools, many in most affected areas, 70% of which are women and children, have no options to reconstruct their lives, UNICEF reports. Waterborne diseases are raising concerns in these areas, as many are unable to leave despite the destruction.

Why Does This Keep Happening? 

Global climate change was not the only factor that led to the flooding, nor was this the first instance of extreme flooding in Pakistan’s recent history. In 2010, Pakistan experienced similarly extreme flooding. Since then, Pakistan has done little to reinforce its natural disaster prevention infrastructure and on top of this, Pakistan faces an imminent economic crisis. The inflation rate in Pakistan approached 27% in August 2022 and the Pakistani rupee crashed, causing Pakistan to require aid from wealthier countries to pay for the immense amount of damage caused by the flooding.


The UNHCR is spearheading the efforts to provide tents, blankets and other necessities to those affected most by the flooding in Pakistan. In September 2022, the UNHCR delivered over 10,000 metric tons of goods to those affected, with a special focus on the Afghan refugees. Additionally, UNHCR ran rapid needs assessments with the aid of the Pakistani government, along with mobilizing female-centered support, as women and children are among the most affected by the floods.

In addition to the UNHCR, the U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) has been working to provide food to those Pakastani flood victims, including those in relief camps. The WFP has “reached more than 400,000 people with food assistance in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh provinces.” The WFP has also provided especially nutritious food to children and pregnant women in an effort to push back against increasing levels of malnutrition in the wake of widespread crop destruction.

A post-disaster that the Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives led has begun in an effort to develop a recovery plan for the government moving forward. 

How Does the Future Look for Pakistan?

Though climate change played an important role in causing flooding in Pakistan, it is important to note that Pakistan contributes “less than 1% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions,” The New Humanitarian reports. Because of this, Sherry Rehman, Pakistan’s climate change minister, has suggested that Pakistan has plans to demand climate reparations from the countries that play a much larger part in global climate change, according to The New Humanitarian. Efficient and productive strides have been taken in the direction of recovery for Pakistan in the wake of these cataclysmic floods. 

– Christopher Dickinson
Photo: Flickr

Flooding in Pakistan
After massive flooding in Pakistan due to atypically strong monsoon rains and the Indus River overflowing, in August 2022, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province’s government unveiled a new mobile app to help those the disaster affected receive aid. The app comes as millions have experienced displacement and the Pakistani government has received millions of dollars in aid.

Prior to the flooding, the country had been seeing economic growth. Additionally, according to the World Bank, Pakistan reduced national poverty from 64.3% to 24.3% from 2001 to 2015. The World Bank credits economic diversification and expansion outside of the agriculture sector for the nation’s development. However, Pakistan has seen setbacks due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Business Standard, the pandemic led to a setback in the number of people living below the international poverty line. The publication announced that the poverty rate in Pakistan grew from 4.4% to 5.4% in 2020 and 3.9% in 2015.

The recent flooding posits a new roadblock and challenge for Pakistan’s economic growth and its people’s security. Now, the nation has created a technological solution in hopes to speed up recovery and provide support to its citizens.

The Damage that the Floods in Pakistan Caused

Recent satellite imaging shows a newly-formed lake more than 100 km wide in Pakistan’s Sindh Province after the rising waters subsided. The lake serves as a physical reminder of the devastation left behind by the flooding in Pakistan which has thrown millions of lives into flux and caused widespread poverty.

Per Business Standard, more than 1,000 people have died from the recent flooding in Pakistan, but tens of millions more were impacted by the disaster. Water destroyed and damaged nearly a million homes, leaving millions without access to electricity, clean water or shelter. Per UNICEF, more than 664,000 have had to live in displacement camps scattered throughout the country while they await restitution.

As recently as 2018, agriculture made up more than 18% of Pakistan’s economy, with a majority of it being biased toward livestock, which makes it the largest sector of the Pakistani economy.

Reports noted that the flooding in Pakistan has killed more than 7 million livestock and rendered millions of acres of farmable land unusable, leaving many across the country without their primary source of income.

Foreign Aid and the Flood Reporting Mobile Application

In response to the flooding in Pakistan, there has been an outpouring of aid and support from the international community. The U.N. has sent $2.6 million to Pakistan, and its Central Emergency Response Fund plans to send $3 million more to help with recovery efforts.

Countries within the Islamic world have been particularly supportive of Pakistan’s healing. The United Arab Emirates has planned to send 15 planes with supplies to the country. Turkey and its Red Crescent Society have provided supplies like mosquito nets and tents for families displaced by the disaster. The NGO Qatar charity has given aid to more than 9,000 Afghan refugees and members of the Balochistan province affected by the flooding.

To help in distributing the aid it has received, the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which was among the provinces that the flooding in Pakistan hit the worst according to NASA’s satellite imaging, has released a mobile app for its citizens to use to report flood damage and request aid. According to Provincial Minister for Science and Information Technology Atif Khan, the app is primarily for requesting food and medical services.

The app is simple in its design and relatively straightforward in its use. Upon opening the app, the user sees the provincial government’s logo and then goes to the screen for reporting. From there, users can file reports, view new and historic reports and examine completed reports. According to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government, the Provincial Disaster Management Authority and relevant district administration respond to each claim.

Khan has said that the provincial government takes “urgent steps” in response to each user’s request for aid, though he has not provided a specific timetable for when the steps should be fulfilled or the specifics of what it has been able to provide users.

One issue with the app is that many of those that may need aid the most in Pakistan do not have easy access to regular electricity or WI-FI due to the damage caused by flooding, which makes it difficult to download and run the Flood Reporting Mobile Application. However, for those that can use it, the app connects them to support in a time when disaster has divided the nation.

– Ryan Morton
Photo: Flickr

Flooding in Pakistan for the fourth consecutive year has put the spotlight on fledgling programs meant to improve infrastructure and humanitarian aid policies. A combination of monsoon rains and melted glacier water convened, causing rivers to overflow into towns, bringing massive destruction in Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces as well as Baluchistan and Giljit Baltistan. In the Chitral district, water washed away more than 28 villages, leaving the area completely inaccessible by car and depleted of food, drinking water and communication technology.

More than 500,000 people have been affected and experts report the accelerated spread of disease in affected areas. This is the fourth consecutive year that the country has seen such conditions; in 2010, 20% of the country was underwater and 20 million people were displaced. Though this year’s floodwaters do not pose such grave dangers, Pakistani activists and politicians have been calling for political reform and funding to help lessen the impact of seemingly inevitable annual flooding.

In 2013, the Pakistani government adapted the National Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) policy, which increased funding for disaster management to $1.6 million. The DRR policy plans to strengthen institutions that will work solely to tackle challenges posed by natural disasters and better prepare the country for such occurrences. The policy plans on passing new laws, including those related to fire safety, industrial hazards, construction, land use and building codes. It plans on expanding its Emergency Rescue Service, reviving civilian humanitarian organizations, and partnering with NGOs and local organizations to support disaster-prone areas of the country. The policy will also help pass on information to communities on more resilient innovations in home construction techniques, water and sanitation systems and alternative sources of electricity.

However, critics say the government isn’t working fast enough. The country’s water management system, for example, will continue to be overwhelmed by extreme amounts of water until the system is completely overhauled. A more proactive stance, critics say, that prevents the effects of flooding before they occur, is crucial. Rolling out programs such as the National Disaster Risk Reduction policy will help build stronger, better-informed communities that will cooperate with local organizations to improve technology and design. Doing so will create more sustainable regions that can both use their resources more efficiently and withstand the threat of natural disasters, a seemingly inevitable fact of life these days.

– Jenna Wheeler

Sources: Irin News, Prevention Web
Photo: Flickr