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This GCF-led coalition grant supports integrated flood risk management and ecosystem-based adaptation by bringing nature-based solutions to Pakistan's Indus River Basin. The interventions aim to reverse potential flood damage over several years, starting from the Himalayan glaciers down to the Indian Ocean. Comprised of multi-tiered projects and estimated to impact 7 million people and their livelihoods, the grant is fully aligned with the Government of Pakistan’s national climate change goals.
Recharge Pakistan represents a historic investment to improve the resilience of some of Pakistan’s most vulnerable communities and ecosystems affected by climate change, responding to an urgent need to expand the amount of investment and types of adaptive action in the country.
This need has been felt since the super floods Pakistan experienced in 2010, the aftermath of which called into question the capacity of the country’s built infrastructure to manage flood volumes. The issue was again brought to the forefront following the catastrophic flooding the country experienced in 2022.
In 2022, Pakistan received more than 190% of its normal rainfall in July and August, with some especially vulnerable areas reaching up to 450% more. This led to devastating floods—labeled a “climate catastrophe”—that saturated flood basins, severely damaged the majority of water systems in the affected area, and wiped out the communities in their paths, along with the farmlands central to local livelihoods.
More than one-third of the country submerged
2 million homes damaged or destroyed
4 million acres of agricultural land destroyed
33+ million impacted
8 million displaced
10 million left without access to safe water
An initiative of Pakistan’s Ministry of Climate Change, Recharge Pakistan aims to reduce climate vulnerability and contribute to Pakistan's climate adaptation efforts. The project is expected to directly benefit more than 680,000 people and indirectly benefit more than 7 million.
Current flood and drought events in Pakistan are surpassing the capacity of the country’s existing water infrastructure to prevent large-scale economic damages and loss of human life. The actions proposed under Recharge Pakistan are primarily designed to keep more floodwater from reaching agricultural and community lands by slowing run-off and making use of wetlands to hold and absorb it.
Local communities are expected to see additional benefits from these nature-based solutions to mitigate flooding—including reduced erosion and landslide risk—as increased vegetation stabilizes the soils, enhancing the recharge of groundwater supply and improving the base flow of rivers and springs in the dry season. These measures ensure that local communities are expected to receive stronger protection from drought, as well as flooding.
Ultimately, Recharge Pakistan seeks to create a paradigm shift in the country’s flood and water resource management efforts by establishing proofs of concept for ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) and green infrastructure interventions in the Indus Basin. The project will reinforce this shift by validating the cost efficiency, benefits, and sustainability of these adaptation and resilience measures.
Updated government procedures for integrating EbA and green infrastructure interventions to reduce flood and drought impacts will be developed using the evidence gathered so that government agencies can apply the approaches more broadly across the country. The project will also train government staff and communities in the design and management of these interventions for use in future country-driven projects.
To transform the country’s approach to flood and water resource management, Recharge Pakistan will:
This 7-year initiative represents the largest investment to-date in an ecosystem-based approach to flood and water resources management at the national level.
The progress of key metrics will be tracked throughout the project’s lifespan:
Lend to the restoration and reforestation of 35,126 acres of forests and wetlands
Undertake the rehabilitation of 21 miles of water flow paths and channels
Develop 127 recharge basins and retention areas
Strengthen the climate resilience of 7 local businesses in the agriculture and forests sectors
Recharge Pakistan is a collaborative effort of Pakistan’s Ministry of Climate Change (MoCC), the Federal Flood Commission (FFC) under the Ministry of Water Resources, local communities in DI Khan, the Ramak Watershed, and Manchar Lake, Chakar Lake, the Green Climate Fund (GCF), USAID, The Coca-Cola Foundation and WWF.
The project recently received investment of $77.8 million from an array of public and private funders, including a $66 million grant from the GCF. It is supported through by a $12 million investment and technical support from The Coca-Cola Foundation, The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the World Wide Fund for Nature-Pakistan (WWF-Pakistan).