Anticipated on July 19, the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) issued a forecast for the forthcoming heavy monsoon rainfall, which is projected to trigger urban flooding in major cities of Pakistan. The increasing frequency and intensity of these rainfall events pose a significant threat to vulnerable communities, especially those residing in low-lying areas and informal settlements. The potential for urban flooding has become a pressing concern due to inadequate infrastructure and limited access to essential services, leaving these communities highly vulnerable to displacement and the loss of homes and livelihoods. During the summer of 2022, Pakistan witnessed an unprecedented occurrence of monsoon rains that caused widespread flooding, submerging a significant portion of the country and resulting in extensive devastation. The relentless downpours were responsible for the destruction of approximately two million homes and tragically claimed the lives of over 1,700 individuals. The impact of these calamitous events was deeply felt by a staggering 33 million people. The destructive consequences of the heavy rains and subsequent floods are vividly evident in the extensive devastation inflicted upon critical infrastructure and essential services. Furthermore, the significant loss of the cotton crop further exacerbates the pre-existing economic and agricultural challenges faced by the nation, compounding the multitude of difficulties confronting Pakistan. With the monsoon rainfall arriving earlier than usual this year and anticipated to persist for an extended period, the potential for catastrophic consequences looms large. The first spell of heavy monsoon rainfall caused at least 50 reported fatalities across the country. With the second spell just around the corner, these recurring episodes of intense rainfall underscore the urgent need for effective disaster management and mitigation strategies to address the challenges posed by climate change and protect vulnerable communities from its devastating consequences. The potential for urban flooding has become a pressing concern due to inadequate infrastructure and limited access to essential services. The existing policies aimed at preventing climate-induced migrations and displacements in Pakistan suffer from fragmentation and insufficiency, as they overlook two crucial challenges faced by the nation. Firstly, they lack the development of strategies capable of effectively responding to the immediate and unpredictable impacts of catastrophic events, which can result in the permanent or temporary disruption of livelihoods and the displacement of populations. Secondly, they fail to address the long-term processes that gradually erode the capacity of certain areas to sustain livelihoods, necessitating sustained attention and action. Pakistan, with its population exceeding 200 million, faces the exacerbation of existing climate risks due to unplanned and forced migration caused by climate change. This phenomenon is particularly pronounced in capital cities and already stressed urban centres like Lahore, Karachi and Faisalabad. Heatwaves, floods, droughts, and rising sea levels drive individuals to gradually relocate from rural to urban areas in search of protection from environmental risks or better economic opportunities. However, upon reaching cities, these migrants encounter new challenges as they compete for limited space and resources including loss of social network, lack of proper accommodation and difficulty finding jobs. This situation deepens pre-existing inequalities that initially made them vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and its disasters. To effectively address the challenge of climate-induced migrations and displacements, it is crucial to prioritize the establishment of robust governance systems and the implementation of effective policy mechanisms. Drawing inspiration from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which has developed comprehensive policies for developing countries, Pakistan can adopt a multifaceted approach to address this complex issue. The first step involves addressing the root causes of displacement and migration, which include the impacts of climate change, environmental degradation, and the residual effects of disasters. This necessitates the development of comprehensive strategies that mitigate these factors and enhance the resilience of vulnerable communities. Next, facilitating internal relocation within the country is crucial to ensure the economic well-being and livelihoods of the most vulnerable groups. This requires providing necessary support to communities, enabling them to adapt and rebuild in safer locations. Additionally, addressing the underlying socio-economic factors that contribute to vulnerability is vital for sustainable long-term solutions. Additionally, a human rights-based approach must be adopted to protect the rights of climate migrants. Adequate support services, including access to necessities, healthcare, and education, should be provided. Mechanisms for addressing grievances and violations of rights should be established, including options for legal recourse and seeking justice. Moreover, addressing both slow-onset and sudden-onset disasters is critical. This entails implementing measures that promote climate resilience, such as early warning systems, awareness campaigns, and effective disaster management and preparedness. By prioritizing these actions, Pakistan can reduce the adverse impacts of climate-induced disasters on vulnerable communities. Lastly, a long-term strategy should be developed for social and economic empowerment, ensuring the planned relocation of communities to areas that are less vulnerable to climate risks. This involves providing necessary infrastructure, creating livelihood opportunities, and ensuring access to essential services. The establishment of state protection mechanisms, including social safety nets, is crucial to support the trapped population and address their immediate needs. Adequate resources should be allocated to ensure the successful implementation of these mechanisms. According to projections, Pakistan is expected to witness a significant influx of climate migrants, reaching approximately 2 million climate migrants by 2050. This number does not account for those who will be forcibly displaced due to sudden climate-related disasters, such as floods. Given Pakistan’s high vulnerability to climate change and its existing development challenges, it is imperative to adopt an integrated and multi-sectoral approach to foster climate-resilient economic development. Addressing the complex issue of climate-induced migrations and displacements in Pakistan requires a coordinated and collaborative effort involving various stakeholders. This includes active participation from government agencies, civil society organizations, such as the United Nations, and international cooperation. By working together, Pakistan can effectively respond to the challenges posed by climate change, protect the rights and well-being of vulnerable communities, and promote sustainable and inclusive development. The writer is a Project Consultant at World Bank and a Teaching Fellow in the Department of Economics at LUMS.