About the Situation
By the Numbers
More than 187,342,700 people live in Pakistan
24% of the people in Pakistan live below the poverty line
56% of the population is illiterate
(Sources: UNHDR and U.S. government figures)
Decades of political disputes and little foreign investment have strained Pakistan’s economy, contributing to widespread poverty. Despite the government’s strides in reducing poverty levels, the economy’s growth slowed in 2008; the value of the rupee fell and the unemployment level rose.
Pakistan has also been hit hard by numerous earthquakes, droughts and floods in recent years. Reconstruction costs in the aftermath of these natural disasters are placing additional stresses on Pakistan’s fragile economy.
How Islamic Relief is Helping
Islamic ReliefTM has been providing services in Pakistan since 1992. Islamic Relief Pakistan opened its office in Islamabad in 1994. Islamic Relief teams have helped implement vocational training projects, water and sanitation programs, and have administered health care services. Islamic Relief has also been at the forefront of providing emergency relief in times of natural disaster, and team members in the region work closely with local organizations and government officials to ensure efficiency and deliver aid where it is needed most.
Here’s a breakdown of some programs Islamic Relief has supported in Pakistan:
ASSISTANCE FOR WIDOWS IN NEED
This project aims to provide some 1,200 underprivileged widows living in Rawalpindi with access to health care services and hygiene awareness sessions.
AVOIDABLE BLINDNESS INITIATIVE IN BALOCHISTAN
More than 21,360 individuals stand to benefit from this program, which will help reduce the incidence of avoidable blindness by providing access to preventable and curative eye care services.
COMMUNITY SUSTAINABLE WASH INITIATIVES IN KPK
Access to safe water drinking facilities, improved sanitation facilities and training for better hygiene practices are all part of this program, which will benefit more than 22,000 people.
HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE TO IDP’S OF KHYBER AGENCY FATA, KPK
The program is designed to provide access to essential health care and water and sanitation services for internally displaced populations in camps in Jalozi, Nowshera in KPK. More than 4,600 people stand to benefit.
IMPROVING HOUSEHOLD ECONOMY THROUGH SUSTAINABLE AGRIBUSINESS SUPPORT, AJK
More than 172,000 marginalized, disadvantaged and at-risk people in Bagh and Neelum in AJK are receiving assistance and access to basic social services, including water, sanitation, health, and education, to help them achieve sustainable livelihoods in pursuit of self-reliance. The program also includes partnership-building to enhance policy, dialogue and advocacy efforts.
SAFE WATER FOR COMMUNITIES
This project is helping local community members build water supply infrastructures and provide sanitation education for the people of Chamyati and Chagai in Balochistan. Local community leaders—both men and women—are being trained in project management, community development, and in community member recruitment and engagement so that local residents are invested in the project’s success and take ownership of its management. The installation of water pumps, storage tanks and filtration systems is also underway.
ORPHAN SUPPORT & SPONSORSHIP
TRIBAL VILLAGE INTEGRATED REHABILITATION PROJECT IN KPK
More than 7,000 people will benefit from disaster resilient basic social services, and will be helped by efforts to improve economic conditions of conflict-affected communities by training individuals in different trades and restored micro enterprises. Community members will also be provided access to health care services and enhanced water and sanitation facilities.
RAMADAN FOOD DISTRIBUTION
COMMUNITY LIVELIHOOD IMPROVEMENT PROJECT
This project initially began after the recovery phase of Islamic Relief’s response to the 2005 earthquake, and benefited 36 villages in the Bagh district and neighboring Haveli Kahuta by addressing social mobilization, water, sanitation and hygiene, and livelihood issues. Communities and leaders were provided with the tools and training necessary to identify problems and formulate solutions amongst themselves.
HEPATITIS INITIATIVE WITH APPNA
Islamic Relief USA worked in collaboration with the Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent of North America (APPNA) to implement a hepatitis C awareness and prevention program within major hospitals in Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Peshawar, Faisalabad, Multan, Larkana, Bahawalpur and Muzaffarabad. The program was also implemented in urban and rural school curriculums to spread hepatitis awareness through education.
NOWSHERA INTEGRATED REHABILITATION PROGRAM
This rehabilitation project provided more than 1,200 households affected by the 2010 floods with disaster-resilient shelters, clean water and sanitation facilities, primary health-care services, school rehabilitation and income generation opportunities. Efforts also included rebuilding infrastructure, providing communities with income generating activities and basic necessities and helping them better cope with future disasters.
PUNJAB INTEGRATED REHABILITATION PROGRAM
Under this project, families have received critical services including health care in six villages in Muzaffargarh, Punjab. Disaster-resilient shelters have been being built for hundreds of households. Teams have also installed water pumps and latrines, and residents have been trained on best practices for hygiene and health. Farmers and other households have received seeds, tools and livestock so they can earn an income.
SINDH FLOOD RELIEF EMERGENCY EFFORTS
The Sindh district regularly succumbs to flooding, and 2010 and 2011 were years without exception. Islamic Relief responded with emergency relief on these two separate occasions to provide aid throughout the district. An emphasis was made on providing on water and sanitation, emergency shelter, food and non-food items, and healthcare for affected people immediate after floods swept through the region. The project, now in phase two, has been redesigned to address long-term rehabilitation needs, including the rebuilding of infrastructure, providing communities with income generating activities and basic necessities and providing them with proper coping mechanisms to deal with future disasters.