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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 Pakistan was set up in 1992 in response to devasting flooding in of Punjab. We began sponsoring orphaned children that same year, serving as a lifeline in Punjab, AJK, and KP.

Most of our activities were focused on humanitarian responses to disasters in Pakistan, until 1998 when we shifted focus to include long-term development projects. One of the first long term projects in 1998 was installing water wells in Azad Jammu and Kashmir in collaboration with National Rural Support Programme (NRSP).

In 2000 we started our microfinance programme, supporting families to escape the poverty trap and build brighter futures.

One year later the war in neighbouring Afghanistan saw Islamic Relief collaborating with the UNHCR to support large Afghan refugee camps at the Chaman border in Balochistan. 

Islamic Relief Pakistan is among just a handful of organisations to have responded to key emergencies over the last 20 years, usually within the first 72 hours of a disaster striking. The government of Pakistan gave Islamic Relief an award in recognition of our excellent emergency lifesaving response following the South Asian Earthquake in 2005. 

Our fundraising

In 2010, following one of the worst floods in Pakistan’s history, we adopted an integrated approach to emergency response which we have retained throughout subsequent disasters that have hit the country. This includes shelter, health, water, hygiene and sanitation, and livelihoods. Our fundraising priorities are orphans and children; rebuilding/humanitarian; and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). Islamic Relief Pakistan only fundraises to support projects within the country.

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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