Why we work in Pakistan
38 million people in Pakistan (one in four) live in poverty on £1 a day or less. Pakistan has 17 million out-of-school children. Half of all adults, including two out of every three women, can’t read or write. One in ten children die before their fifth birthday, and 14,000 women die in childbirth every year.
Entrenched poverty denies opportunities to millions of people, and undermines Pakistan’s long term stability and prosperity. Tackling this poverty and building a stable, prosperous, and democratic Pakistan will help not only millions of poor Pakistanis, but will also improve stability and security in Pakistan, the region, and beyond.
What we will achieve
Pakistan’s education system is in crisis, and the country has a booming youth population. In twenty years’ time the number of young people will be larger than the entire UK population.
Every full year of extra schooling across the population increases economic growth by up to one percentage point, as more people with better reading, writing, and maths skills enter the workforce. So if educated, healthy, and working, these young people offer a vast mine of talent and productivity - a huge demographic dividend that will unlock Pakistan’s potential on the global stage.
That’s why the UK’s priorities in Pakistan over the next four years are: education; women and children’s health; creating jobs and supporting economic growth; and strengthening democracy.