Pakistan is among the 20 countries at risk of experiencing excessive rainfall due to the El Nino oceanographic phenomenon forecast to return in June, according to a report by the Global Information and Early Warning System (GIEWS) of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.
The report aims to raise awareness of the countries where El Nino-induced dry weather conditions could occur, potentially aggravating local food insecurity.
The GIEWS report also states that the world experienced a third consecutive La Nina event in 2022 and early 2023, a rare occurrence that has only happened twice since 1950. La Nina events typically cause wetter conditions in Australia and drier conditions in the US, South America, and East Africa.
Warning from the Ministry of Climate Change
Minister for Climate Change, Senator Sherry Rehman also warned on Twitter that the re-emergence of the El Nino oceanic phenomenon could lead to severe environmental consequences globally, such as increased rainfall, floods, droughts, and malnutrition risks. She highlighted the need to be prepared for extreme environmental events, given the ongoing recovery phase following last year’s flooding disasters.
The Minister emphasized that the government has directed relevant institutions to inform the public and farmers to take precautionary measures and remain vigilant.
About the El Nino
The El Nino oceanographic phenomenon, which is forecast to return in June 2023, is a significant driver of extreme weather events that pose high risks to global food security. The Hunger Hotspots report estimates that up to 222 million people in 53 countries/territories could face acute food insecurity in 2022, mainly due to climate and conflict-related factors.
Other countries at risk of excessive rainfall
Aside from Pakistan, the countries at risk of excessive rainfall include Afghanistan, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bhutan, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, Paraguay, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkiye, Turkmenistan, the United States, and Uzbekistan. Meanwhile, 42 other countries are at risk of experiencing the effects of El Nino, which may cause dry conditions.