Has the UN made a difference in Pakistan? The results in this Annual Report confirm that we have. As the era of the Sustainable Development Goals dawns, we marked this new beginning with a fresh resolve to deliver better results for all the people of Pakistan. 2016 was a year of impressive progress.
Hand in hand with our partners, our collective achievements propelled us forward, towards stronger development outcomes across the country.
Delivering as One
The Pakistan One UN Programme II 2013-2017 (OP II) fosters social justice, strengthens national capacity and addresses inequities through integrated humanitarian and development actions. Its six Strategic Priority Areas (SPAs), aligned with national priorities, strive to ensure that development truly benefits all people, especially the most vulnerable and marginalised. In all areas, the OP II is underpinned by four normative principles: human rights, gender equality, environmental sustainability and capacity development.
Throughout 2016, the UN system worked as one to harmonise processes, procedures and operations. "One Leader" provided strategic oversight for the efficient implementation of the One UN Programme II. "One Office" promoted cost-effective practices, while the "One Fund" responded to Pakistan’s emerging needs. "One Voice" forged media partnerships, fostered dialogue and raised awareness of the UN’s work in Pakistan.
Achievements in 2016
SPA 1 Services
Health outcomes improved across the country, as UN efforts raised awareness and supported quality services. 7.3 million women received vital health education through Mother & Child Weeks. More children are now protected from vaccine-preventable diseases than ever before, as UN-backed initiatives vaccinated 1.05 million children and 1.09 million women in high-risk areas.
With 20 cases of polio in 2016 – a 93% decline in just two years – Pakistan is on the cusp of eradicating the disease.
Increased capacity and UN advocacy enhanced family planning, as well as adolescent and sexual and reproductive health. New frameworks developed with UN assistance are poised to cement gains, from federal and provincial Vaccine Management Improvement Plans to the National Vision for Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health 2016-25. Key populations became less vulnerable to HIV/AIDS as sensitisation, testing and treatment advanced at pace. 17,230 people accessed HIV-related services – 30% more than last year. The risk of parent-to-child transmission was curbed thanks to a new Early Infant Diagnosis of HIV System, expanded Anti-Retroviral Treatment and improved capacity among health care professionals. Integrated Behavioural Surveillance in 23 cities provided an evidence-base for HIV policies.
Access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) was enhanced for impoverished urban and rural communities nationwide. 2.4 million people were empowered to construct toilets, paving the way towards an “open defecation-free” Pakistan. Better waste management enhanced sanitation and arrested the spread of diseases like polio, benefitting 20,000 people in Sindh’s slums. New provincial Sanitation and Water Policies – in Sindh, Punjab, the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) – and WASH Sector Master Plans in Punjab and Balochistan will improve the lives of millions nationwide.
Expanded access to education for 103,000 marginalised children and adolescents – 46% of whom are girls – offered vulnerable youngsters a chance to learn, including through Alternative Learning Programmes. With the Every Child in School initiative, 761,800 children in KP and FATA – including 211,400 girls – were enrolled in primary school. School feeding in FATA boosted enrolment rates by 15%, while improving nutrition among thousands of girls and boys.
SPA 2 Growth
Our efforts promoted decent work across Pakistan by empowering women and youths. Alongside progress for home-based workers, the livelihoods of young men and women were aided by skills development in KP and FATA. Export-driven trade increased as we advocated for effective policies, facilitated partnerships and worked with the public and private sectors to enhance the quality of Pakistani products. UN support for Pakistani producers prompted compliance with international standards, enabling fish exports to the EU worth over US$ 4 million, alongside stronger market linkages with Malaysia, China and Italy. Greater industrial competitiveness and investment opportunities in manufacturing are primed to further advance prosperity. So are over 10,000 new jobs in the creative industries that link traditional crafts to modern livelihoods. Clean technology innovations gained pace in the wake of UN support for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups. Green industrial development is emerging, employing renewable biomass energy. An enabling policy environment for population concerns is taking root, following UN assistance for the collection and analysis of disaggregated demographic data.
SPA 3 Resilience
Placing the participation of women, men, girls and boys centre stage, UN efforts equipped communities in disaster-prone areas with the capacities to overcome risks. 79,000 people benefitted from Communitybased Disaster Risk Management (CBDRM), while 175,000 temporarily dislocated persons and returnees in FATA saw their livelihoods thrive through conditional cash transfers and the rehabilitation of infrastructure. Immediate relief was coupled with gender-responsive and child-centred recovery and resilience initiatives, which secured access to basic services. As a result, 103,000 displaced children stayed in school. Livelihood support empowered over 86,000 poor women and men in Sindh and 40,700 people in Chitral, KP, while helping agriculture thrive in drought- and flood-affected areas.
Improved flood forecasting and early warning capacities in 40 districts bolstered preparedness, as did UN support for a new National Disaster Risk Reduction Policy, Management Plan and School Safety Framework. Our social cohesion efforts gave youth real options, making them less vulnerable to violence. Law enforcement agencies are better able to counter migrant smuggling, human and drug trafficking, following sustained UN capacity development.
SPA 4 Governance
By strengthening capacities for governance reform at the institutional level and beyond, we helped Pakistan’s Federal and Provincial Governments become more accountable and responsive to people’s needs. Increasingly transparent electoral processes were heralded through GIS mapping of polling stations and training for 600,000 polling staff. Promoting women’s participation – as leaders and voters – was fundamental, as was our focus on decentralised governance, civil service reform, migration oversight and urban management. Federal and provincial authorities alike are developing pioneering labour legislation. Honing the skills of police officers, prosecutors and prison managers strengthened the rule of law, alongside responsiveness to community needs. Great strides in social protection spanned increased birth registration, support for press freedom and journalists’ safety, migrant protection and greater legal awareness. 16,200 out-of-school children benefitted from Non-Formal Education, which spurred a 25% rise in the enrolment of refugee children. Reinvigorated schemes protected livestock and bolstered soil fertility.
SPA 5 Gender
Legislative landmarks on women’s rights paved the way towards their full economic, social, legal and political participation – from Punjab’s Protection of Women against Violence Bill to Sindh’s Home-Based Workers Policy and Balochistan’s Protection against Harassment of Women at the Workplace Act. Marginalised groups gained a voice through trailblazing networks and collectives, like the Women Lawyers’ Association, Punjab’s Domestic Workers’ Union, Sindh’s Agricultural and Fisheries Union, an HIV Positive Female Network (POFEN) and Gender and Disability Electoral Working Groups. Expanded access to HIV services improved the lives of people living with HIV – particularly women and transgender individuals. UN initiatives economically empowered thousands of women, including home-based workers via skills training and women farmers through training on food preservation. Women are increasingly able to participate in the workforce without fear of harassment following sensitisation campaigns that reached out to 10,000 people, including 500 trade union leaders and 300 employers.
SPA 6 Nutrition
184 million people – almost the entire population – benefitted from salt iodisation, the simplest and safest way to mitigate iodine deficiency disorders. 32.1 million children received Vitamin A supplements to prevent blindness, while the nutritional status of 2.6 million people improved with wheat flour fortification. UN agencies worked to tackle the root causes of malnutrition, curbing thousands of cases of stunting across Sindh by training Lady Health Workers, raising awareness and providing specialised nutritious food. Some 2.4 million children and women were reached through the Community-based Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) initiative, while 280,530 students – nearly half of whom are girls – experienced better nutrition and learning outcomes thanks to on-site school feeding.