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Islamic Relief staff member and man observing flooding


Pakistan hosts one of the world’s largest populations, with an estimated population of around 217 million. It is also host to one of the largest refugee populations worldwide. This includes more than 1.4 million refugees from neighbouring Afghanistan.

In addition to high levels of poverty, vulnerable communities are also forced to cope with the effects of earthquakes, floods and droughts year after year.

In the summer of 2022, floods devastated Pakistan, leaving one-third of the country underwater and taking the lives of over 1, 700 people including 640 children. 

Over 33 million people were affected by the flooding caused as a result of climate change, as families lost their homes, livelihoods and loved ones. There was significant damage to crops that were wiped out entirely. More than 2 million homes were damaged or destroyed, and over 800,000 livestock perished. 

Reconstruction costs in the aftermath of these disasters have placed additional stress on Pakistan’s fragile economy and the daily lives of local families.

Family standing together in front of their damaged home
Image: A family stand outside their home which has been destroyed by the flooding.

The situation in Pakistan

The impact of contaminated water sources, limited healthcare provision, and shortages of water and sanitation all contribute to communities’ daily struggle to survive.

33 million

people were affected by the flooding in summer 2022 

Over 2 million

homes were damaged or destroyed in the flooding 

Over 1.7 million

hectares (4.4 million acres) of crops were wiped out by the flooding 


of the population are living in poverty – around 53 million people (World Bank, 2020)


is the average life expectancy


of the population is undernourished


of children under the age of 5 suffering from stunted growth (UN World Food Programme, 2021)


aged 15 and older is illiterate (UNESCO, 2017)

Young boy drinking water from a tap
Image: Young boy drinks from the water source provided by Islamic Relief.

Islamic Relief in Pakistan

Islamic Relief first started working in Pakistan in 1992. Over the years, Islamic Relief Pakistan has responded to natural disasters like floods, droughts and earthquakes in Sindh, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

Islamic Relief was at the forefront of the humanitarian response to the recent flooding, delivering life-saving aid including food, water, sanitation and cash vouchers to 1.5 million people. 

We have been on the ground and helping families to rebuild their lives in the aftermath of the disaster.  Balochistan and Sindh provinces were the hardest hit,  where demolished public infrastructure and stagnant water posed a great threat to the population. We are building homes  in some of the worst flood-affected districts of Dadu and Sohbatpur. So far, we have built 6,420 permanent homes for families affected by the floods. 

Islamic Relief aims to help build communities’ resilience to climate change and conduct research to help address the root causes of climate change.  We undertook community-based research in the year following the floods in order to get a deeper understanding of the immediate and long-term implications for the communities worst affected. 

We are using our research as a basis for calling on governments to do more to compensate the people who are most affected by climate change and for Pakistan to be a priority for increased climate financing.

Our ongoing work in the country 

Aiming to transform lives, we have evolved our programmes to address the most complex issues faced by those most in need. From climate adaptation to sustainable livelihood solutions and women’s empowerment to water challenges, Islamic Relief is addressing the most pressing needs.

In the newly merged tribal districts, we have been supporting returnees with life-changing development and humanitarian initiatives.

In addition, we run programmes in urban areas like Rawalpindi, where we are enabling children living on the street to go to school. In Peshawar, we are improving access to safe drinking water.

Responding to the Covid-19 pandemic, Islamic Relief worked with national and provincial governments to provide health institutions with life-saving equipment. We also ran an extensive Covid-19 awareness campaign in different parts of the country and provided online counselling.

In Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), we have been helping communities adapt to the effects of climate change to ensure their crops remain safe from drought by introducing rainwater harvesting structures and training on climate-adaptive farming.

Our post-flood reconstruction programmes take a fully integrated approach to protecting communities as best as possible. We have rebuilt villages, installed new water and sanitation facilities and supported communities to rebuild small businesses and housing.

With firm foundations and brick walls, new homes cannot be washed away by future floods. Therefore, we ensure the homes we build have earthquake-proof roofs. The housing reconstruction blueprint we developed in consultation with the communities affected in 2010 was also later adopted by other aid agencies. In 2005, we received an award from the Government of Pakistan for our relief efforts during the earthquake.

We also offer a range of seasonal aid including Ramadan and Qurbani food aid and essential food and non-food items for families during the bitterly cold winter months. Our 1:1 child sponsorship programme also ensures that children have critical access to education, nutritional support and medical care – helping children in need to have a brighter future.

Children holding hands and playing in a circle
Image: Children playing as part of a project to help protect Pakistan's street children.

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