While Pakistan contributes less than 1% to global greenhouse gas emissions, it is one of the top ten countries predicted to be impacted the most due to climate change. Over 33 million people in Pakistan have been impacted by recent floods and one-third of the country is underwater. This is four times the population of New York City. Since June of 2022, monsoon season has brought unprecedented downpours, with rain amounts up to eight times the average. According to the news outlets, approximately one million homes have been destroyed, forcing residents out of their homes. Livelihoods have also been destroyed as water has torn through 18,000 square kilometres of farmland and killed nearly 800,000 livestock. Damages worth $30 billion have been reported so far, but the cost won’t truly be known until the floodwaters recede and the damage to key infrastructure and expectations of additional heavy rains complicate rescue and recovery efforts.
It is estimated that more than 1500 people have died, roughly half of whom are children. The people of Pakistan are in dire need of assistance due to the lack of medicine and the risk of waterborne infections. Hospitals are at critical capacity, and makeshift camps have been put up to help evacuees. Heat stress, from temperatures about 30 degrees Celsius, plus a lack of clean water, makes it easy for hazardous diseases to spread. Authorities fear that the death toll may rise as people flee to flood-free areas, where they will find fresh food shortages, contaminated drinking water, and infected animals.