OVERVIEW OF THE CRISIS
Pakistan has been enduring severe monsoon weather since June 2022, which saw areaweighted rainfall 67 per cent above normal levels in that month alone. Rainfall in the country is equivalent to 2.9 times the national 30-year average. This has caused widespread flooding and landslides, with severe repercussions for human lives, property and infrastructure. To date, 81 districts across Pakistan have been declared ‘calamity hit’ by the Government of Pakistan.
These numbers remain dynamic given the ongoing rains, and the number of calamity-declared districts are expected to increase.
The Government of Pakistan estimates that around 33 million people across the country are affected by the rains, floods and consequent impacts such as landslides. More than 800,000 refugees living in calamity-declared districts are also affected or at risk. According to the NDMA as of 8 September, at least 1,400 people were killed and 12, 700 people injured, with numbers increasing as rains continue.
Over 566,000 houses have been destroyed and over 1.17 million partially damaged. Livelihoods are also being heavily impacted – more than 755,000 livestock – a critical source of sustenance and livelihoods for many families – have died, of which some 66 per cent are in Balochistan.Around 2 million acres of crops and orchards have also been affected to date.
The humanitarian situation is being compounded by severe impacts to infrastructure. Damage to nearly 6,700 km of roads and 246 bridges has impeded the ability of people to flee to safer areas, as well as compromising the delivery of aid to people in need. Initial information indicates that more than 22,000 schools have been damaged in Sindh, Balochistan, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and over 5,500 other schools are being used to shelter people who have been displaced from their homes, interrupting education and learning for over 3.5 million children.
Estimates indicate that over 1,460 health facilities have been affected by the heavy rains and floods, and the Health Sector reports that access to health facilities, healthcare workers, and essential medicines and medical supplies remain limited. Early disease surveillance indicates that tens of thousands of people are affected by diarrhoea, malaria, acute respiratory infections, skin and eye infections and typhoid.
While daily rainfall has decreased since peaking two weeks ago, medium flood risk levels persist along the Indus River, between Sukkur and Kotri districts in Sindh and rising to high flood risk downstream of Kotri into the Arabian Sea. On the Indus River in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the Tarbela Dam – the world’s largest earthfilled dam – has been filled to its maximum conservation level of 1,550 feet (472 meters) for weeks, while the Chashma Barrage in Punjab province is only half a foot (0.15 meters) away from reaching its 649 feet (197 meters) maximum conservation level. Standing water continues to cover vast swaths of the country; satellitedetected water extents mapped by the United Nations Satellite Centre (UNOSAT) indicate preliminarily that at least 75,000 km2 of land in Pakistan analysed between 1 and 29 August appears to be affected by floodwaters, including some 48,530 km2 appearing to be croplands.