• Crisis Severity ?
    3.6
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Impact ?
    4.2
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Humanitarian Conditions ?
    3.5
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Complexity ?
    3.4
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Access Constraints ?
    2.0
    No constraints
    Extreme constraints

Key figures

  • 229,489,000 Total population [?]
  • 68,843,000 People affected [?]
  • 21,660,000 People displaced [?]
  • 11,001,000 People in Need [?]

Overview

10/01/2022

The humanitarian situation in Pakistan is marked by conflict and natural hazards. 

Militancy targeting civilians and security forces was ongoing in 2020 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Balochistan provinces. Balochistan is Pakistan’s least urbanised and most impoverished province, and a revival of separatist groups there resulted in greater instances of violence and repression against civilians. Active militant groups, including the Taliban and Islamic State-affiliated groups, contribute to high levels of insecurity in KP. Shelling along the Line of Control in Pakistan-administered Kashmir also poses a protection and displacement risk.?

Displacement within Pakistan is often temporary and recurring. Since 2009, insecurity has displaced over 5 million people in KP (including in Federally Administered Tribal Areas, which were merged with KP in 2018). IDPs are primarily housed in urban areas, particularly in Peshawar, Rawalpindi, and Karachi, though where they are housed depends largely on their province and village of origin. Most IDPs live in host communities and lack access to livelihoods, adequate shelter, and WASH facilities. The humanitarian situation for IDPs is compounded by the presence of 1.4 million Afghan refugees in the country, which adds pressure to the already strained public infrastructure.?

Pakistan is extremely prone to natural hazards, including seasonal flooding, avalanches, and earthquakes. Each year, at least 3 million people are affected by natural hazards across the country. Poor infrastructure, ineffective warning systems, and remote terrain aggravate the damage and limit the humanitarian response. In 2018–2019, severe drought conditions decimated the agricultural sector, affecting 5.5 million people – especially in Sindh and Balochistan provinces – and long-lasting effects are still being seen in 2021.?

Latest Development

10/01/2022

No significant recent humanitarian developments. This crisis is being monitored by our analysis team.

Humanitarian Access

21/07/2021

High Constraints

Access constraints remain high across Pakistan as a result of violence. People in Pakistani-administered Kashmir and Balochistan province have limited freedom of movement and restricted access to basic services because of checkpoints, the presence of militant groups, and cross-border shelling. Afghans holding a citizenship card and undocumented Afghans living in urban areas in Pakistan generally have access to local services but are often not included in the humanitarian response as their exact location is unknown. Violence in Balochistan province, primarily by the Balochistan Liberation Army and Islamic State affiliates in Pakistan, often targets civilians, security forces, and infrastructure. The use of force was also reported in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, where militant groups have imposed taxes on humanitarian projects such as road, school, and hospital constructions. Violence often results in internal displacement, forcing people away from basic services. Humanitarian operations continue to be hindered by a complicated registration process and national counterterrorism regulations that allow the Government to arbitrarily deny or cancel permissions of NGOs and INGOs to operate. National and international organisations can only operate in specified locations and in consultation with relevant authorities.

Read more in the latest ACAPS Humanitarian Access Overview.

Risk

The strengthened presence of the Tehreek-eTaliban Pakistan (TTP) in the newly merged tribal districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) increases humanitarian needs, protection concerns, and access constraints in the area Latest update: 29/03/2022

Probability

Highly unlikely Somewhat likely Highly likely

Impact

Very low Moderate Major

RATIONALE

The US-Taliban peace deal in early 2020 precipitated a resurgence of TTP activity in Pakistan, further boosted by the takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban, with whom the TTP has a long-standing relationship ?. TTP attacks increased by 122% in 2020–2021, reversing the decreasing trend since 2015 ?. Most attacks were on Pakistani military personnel in the newly merged tribal districts of KP (as well as in Balochistan province) ?. Their capacity has increased with the Taliban releasing imprisoned senior TTP commanders and several fighters ?. The TTP has acquired modern weapons and expanded its recruitment and presence in Pakistan inside and beyond the tribal districts of KP ?. Their financial resources, gained from kidnapping, extortion, smuggling, donations, and taxes, have significantly grown ?. The TTP leadership has a natural affinity towards the Taliban, even claiming to be a branch of the Taliban in Pakistan, yet they retain good relations with the Islamic State Khorasan Province. The Taliban have shown no indication that they will prevent the TTP from operating from Afghanistan. Although the TTP initially rejected offers of dialogue from the Pakistan Government, ceasefire negotiations started in November 2021. The ceasefire failed, but negotiations continued ?. Stalled Taliban-mediated peace talks and the failed ceasefire will likely increase attacks against state forces, amplifying TTP leverage and pressure on the Government to accept their provisions. Greater concessions to the TTP will reaffirm their legitimacy, which will highly likely increase protection concerns and human rights violations in the region and worsen existing humanitarian needs.

IMPACT

KP is home to many of the most food-insecure Pakistanis. They live in geographically remote locations with poor infrastructure, limited logistics, and significant insecurity. Military operations against the TTP in 2007 destroyed much of the infrastructure, which has yet to be repaired or compensated ?. The TTP have consolidated their control over certain areas of the newly merged tribal districts of KP. They are currently trying to further extend their influence towards the entire region ?. About 1.5 million people were projected to face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or Emergency (IPC Phase 4) food insecurity levels between October 2021 and April 2022. Low rainfall levels, compounded by violence, displacement, and poor infrastructure, mainly drive these food insecurity levels ?. There are about 3.8 million people in need of humanitarian assistance in KP, which is home to about 55% of the Afghani refugees in Pakistan ?. A continued increase in conflict and expansion of TTP control would add to existing needs and further restrict the provision of government services and humanitarian assistance. Movement restrictions in and out of the districts and increased checkpoints would likely increase access constraints by isolating people from services and assistance. Despite the TTP focusing on military personnel, attacks against humanitarians, such as the TTP-claimed attack on a polio vaccination team in December 2021, may occur ?. Given TTP’s aim to implement a particularly strict interpretation of Sharia law over the region, protection needs for women, girls, and the youth will likely increase should the TTP expand or strengthen its influence. Women and girls will highly likely be subjected to discrimination and repression and denied social, economic, and political rights ?.

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Key Priorities

11/03/2021

Health: Access to healthcare is limited, especially for refugees and IDPs. Weak health infrastructure and surveillance systems, poor hygiene practices in homes and hospitals, and community scepticism towards public health campaigns have contributed to disease outbreaks, including dengue and polio, and to increasing rates of HIV.?

Food: Drivers of food insecurity in Pakistan include poverty, natural disasters, access to food, and limited access to WASH services. A prolonged drought in 2018–2019 affected 5.5 million people and left a lasting impact on food security across the country.?