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International Partnerships

Strengthening communities facing climate-related displacement in Pakistan

The project includes construction/rehabilitation of water supply for 110 households © Aga Khan Agency for Habitat, Pakistan

This project focuses on addressing the impact of disasters and climate change on displacement-affected communities in Gilgit-Baltistan, northern Pakistan. The population here are already vulnerable due to the precarity of their habitats and their livelihoods. But this is compounded by the risk of dispossession, displacement and migration caused by climate change. This project offers a set of solutions to enhance resilience and address long-term needs, particularly around disaster preparedness, infrastructure improvement and integrated service provision. It is being implemented through funding provided by the Lives in Dignity (LiD) Grant Facility.

Scope and objectives

Pakistan is among the top ten countries most vulnerable to climate change, according to the Global Climate Risk Index. This, and the rising frequency and intensity of climate-change disasters, is triggering and intensifying widespread migration and displacement within Pakistan. According to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, 829,000 people in Pakistan were displaced as a result of disasters in 2020 alone.

The mountainous north is particularly vulnerable. The situation has been exacerbated by climate change and has led to the intensification of avalanches, flash floods, erratic precipitation patterns and glacial recessions. In these areas, communities, characterized by poverty and limited coping capacities, are often forced to relocate to unsuitable settlements that lack basic services. There is also a lack of durable settlement and relocation planning. And due to the rapidly changing security situation, these areas remain prone to formal and informal cross-border movements.

This project, designed in consultation with its target communities, is being implemented in the Immit Valley, Ghizer District, Gilgit-Baltistan. The project will help to enhance the resilience and socio-economic growth of displaced and at-risk persons by strengthening their preparedness and capacity to anticipate and respond to disasters. The project also includes a comprehensive habitat and infrastructure improvement and relocation programme.

Expected results

Enhanced prevention, protection and solutions for disaster and climate-related displacement

  • Establishment and training of voluntary emergency response teams (VERTs) in 15 villages
  • Provision of emergency response toolkits to approximately 375 target groups with 30% female participation, and simulation exercises for disaster response, delivered by VERTs
  • 15 village disaster risks management plans developed and shared
  • Establishment and strengthening of five stockpiles, two weather monitoring posts and early warning systems
  • Assessment, design and implementation of mitigation works
  • Behavioural change communication campaign covering at least 50% of the population (5,000 individuals) on hazard, vulnerability and risk assessments and habitat plans

Increased access among displacement-affected settlements to adequate housing

  • Development of a habitat plan covering 15 villages targeting 10,000 individuals (including men, women, children and persons with disabilities [PWDs])
  • Integration with relevant stakeholders in target villages in the Immit Valley
  • Habitat plan for the village of Badswat implemented
  • 110 households (770 internally displaced persons and people at acute risk of displacement), including men, women, children and PWDs, provided with housing support for resettlement in safer areas
  • Housing design support for construction of thermally-comfortable and seismic-resilient houses

Increased access among displacement-affected persons to integrated basic services (education, health, water, sanitation and energy)

  • Construction/rehabilitation of water supply and sanitation schemes for 110 households (770 individuals including men, women, children and PWDs)
  • Grassroot-level health and hygiene awareness raising sessions through the Aga Khan Agency for Habitats community health improvement programme and school health improvement programme and provision of health and hygiene kits to 110 households (770 individuals, including men, women, children and PWDs)
  • Procurement and distribution of energy-efficient products
  • Assessment, design and delivery of infrastructure retrofitting needs of one school
  • Training of 15 teachers and 30 parents
  • Enrollment of 100 children in early childhood education
  • Rehabilitation and construction of infrastructure and sanitation facilities for better connectivity


The EU-UNOPS Lives in Dignity Grant Facility was founded in 2020. The facility aims to efficiently and effectively channel funding to promote development-oriented approaches to new, recurrent and protracted displacement crises. It supports refugees and other displaced persons to be productive members of their host communities who can participate in furthering their common resilience, socio-economic growth and development.

This project addresses disaster and climate-related forced displacement in a region that is facing intense climate change challenges. The international NGO, Aga Khan Foundation Pakistan will be working alongside local NGO, Aga Khan Planning and Building Services, Pakistan (both partners are part of the Aga Khan Development Network, a group of private development agencies working to improve living conditions and opportunities for the poor and marginalised) to strengthen education, health, water, sanitation and energy in the Immit Valley. Because all actions are closely integrated with the plans and policies of local authorities, this project is designed to have long-term sustainability.

Implementing organisations

Aga Khan Foundation, Pakistan and Aga Khan Planning and Building Services, Pakistan