Pakistan’s Poverty

Pakistan may be considered as one of the most beautiful countries in the world, rich in history and culture, but endless political problems combined with regular natural disasters also makes it one of the poorest. Amongst other issues, corruption and feudal power across remote areas have played a huge part in making sure the poorest people in the nation continue to go without food, water and basic education and medical facilities.

Food insecurities have been a major concern of the country since it gained independence in 1947. Exacerbated by ongoing military operations as well as a rapidly growing population, the country has always struggled for political and economic stability. With a population of over 200 million people, Pakistan is the sixth most populous country in the world and struggles to feed itself. And ridden with international debt, it has struggled to do little else but pay off interest, forcing it to rely on international aid for support.

Floods and droughts across some of the most extreme landscapes in Pakistan have constantly affected the poor. Pakistani aid groups estimate that 55 million people live below the poverty line which is 40 percent of the population struggling to find food. Millions of these are children, who are forced to work to support their families so cannot attend school therefore leaving them illiterate. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the Punjab provinces are two of the most vulnerable and Crisis Aid recognises this. Therefore we are on the ground providing food parcels to some of the most needy people to help them survive. For £55 you could provide a vital food parcel to sustain a family of six for a month with items including rice, flour, lentils and necessary sanitary products.

Still being a largely agricultural nation, Pakistan is extremely vulnerable to climate change. Hence floods, earthquakes, droughts and landslides severely damage the livelihood of these people, setting back further the fight against poverty, disease and illiteracy. The devastating earthquake which hit the Kashmir province of Pakistan in 2005 killed 90 thousand people and destroyed thousands of homes and farms, affecting 500 thousand families across the region – mainly in the city of Muzaffarabad. Although there was much emergency aid provided by national and international agencies, corruption and bad administration led to thousands of people still left beyond the scope of help. Even 13 years later, people are still suffering the effects of the earthquake with thousands of building still in the state of disrepair across Muzaffarabad.

Drought and lack of access to clean water has the impact of devastating communities, especially in times of famine. Across Pakistan, Crisis Aid is active in providing the facilities to dig water wells which can help transform the lives of whole villages with at least 200 people.

Crisis Aid also actively supports desperately needed health clinics across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa which provide medical aid to some of the most remote communities in the country. These are communities where people die from preventable diseases and women from minor complications at childbirth. Our long-term plans for Pakistan include the building of hospitals and the running of specialist day clinics to help thousands of people. To read more about the crucial medical work Crisis Aid does in Pakistan click here. Our crucial work can only continue with your help so please donate now.

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