Pakistan country profile


Pakistan is characterized by diverse topography, ecosystems, and climate zones. The temperature varies, but is generally drier and hotter near the coast and the plains of the Indus River and cooler in the uplands and Himalayas. It has four recognized seasons, one of which is the summer monsoon from June to September. El Niño is a significant influence on climate variability in Pakistan, with anomalies in both temperature and flood frequency and impact correlated with the El Niño cycle. A vast majority of the country’s 220 million people live along the Indus River which is prone to severe flooding in July and August.

Pakistan faces some of the highest disaster risk levels in the world. It is prone to extreme temperatures, droughts, and floods. It is one of the most seismically active countries in the world, making earthquakes common and destructive. Pakistan is also at risk of epidemics, landslides, and tropical cyclones.

The recent 2022 flooding event in Pakistan has been described as the worst in the country’s history, leaving an estimated one-third of the country under water and affecting 33 million people. It is the world’s deadliest flood since the 2017 monsoon season brought severe floods across South Asia.


Hazard and exposure: 7.2 |  Vulnerability: 5.8  |  Lack of coping capacity: 5.4 |  Total: 6.1 (high)  |  Rank: 24


Drought | Heat wave | Population movement | Riverine flood


  • In June 2023 the Simplified Early Action Protocol (EAP) for Riverine Flood was validated. This covers floods in the Kabul River Basin and targets 14,820 people with multi-purpose cash. The Pakistan Red Crescent Society and the German Red Cross are currently looking into extending this Simplified EAP to the Indus River Basin.
  • Start Network has allocated financing for anticipatory alerts on heat waves and displacement. In January 2018, £400,000 was budgeted in anticipation of refugee returnees across Afghanistan and Pakistan (alert 205). In May 2018, it reached 15,125 people ahead of a heat wave (alert 237).
  • In 2018, FAO Pakistan implemented well-targeted early actions in the district of Tharparkar to support livestock and crop and vegetable production and thus mitigate the impact of drought on food insecurity following predictions of drought risk ahead of the monsoon season.
  • FAO finalized its drought EW early action plan for Sindh province in April 2019.