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Islamic Republic of


In the early years of the 21st Century

Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Pakistan

CAUTION:  The following links and accompanying text have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Pakistan in the early years of the 21st Century.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated, misleading or even false.   No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspects of poverty are of particular interest to you.  You might be interested in exploring the relationship between distribution of labor and per-capita GDP, for example.  Perhaps your paper could focus on life expectancy or infant mortality.  Other factors of interest might be unemployment, literacy, access to basic services, etc.  On the other hand, you might choose to include some of the possible outgrowths of poverty such as Human Trafficking, Street Children, or even Prostitution.  There is a lot to the subject of Poverty.  Scan other countries as well as this one.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.


Check out some of the Resources for Teachers attached to this website.

*** ARCHIVES ***

The World Factbook - Pakisstan

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency CIA

[accessed 16 November 2020]

World Factbook website has moved to --->

[accessed 7 January 2021]

Decades of internal political disputes and low levels of foreign investment have led to underdevelopment in Pakistan. Pakistan has a large English-speaking population, with English-language skills less prevalent outside urban centers. Despite some progress in recent years in both security and energy, a challenging security environment, electricity shortages, and a burdensome investment climate have traditionally deterred investors. Agriculture accounts for one-fifth of output and two-fifths of employment. Textiles and apparel account for more than half of Pakistan's export earnings; Pakistan's failure to diversify its exports has left the country vulnerable to shifts in world demand. Pakistan’s GDP growth has gradually increased since 2012, and was 5.3% in 2017. Official unemployment was 6% in 2017, but this fails to capture the true picture, because much of the economy is informal and underemployment remains high. Human development continues to lag behind most of the region.

GDP - per capita (PPP): $5,400 (2017 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 42.3%

industry: 22.6%

services: 35.1% (FY2015 est.)

Unemployment rate: 6% (2017 est.)

Population below poverty line: 29.5% (FY2013 est.)

Maternal mortality rate: 140 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)

Infant mortality rate: total: 52.3 deaths/1,000 live births

Life expectancy at birth: total population: 69.2 years

Drinking water source: improved: total: 91.5% of population

Physicians density: 1 physicians/1,000 population (2017)

Sanitation facility access: improved: total: 70.1% of population

Electricity access: electrification - total population: 74% (2017)

The Borgen Project - Pakistan

[accessed 16 February 2021]

The Borgen Project works with U.S. leaders to utilize the United States’ platform behind efforts toward improving living conditions for the world’s poor.  It is an innovative, national campaign that is working to make poverty a focus of U.S. foreign policy.  It believes that leaders of the most powerful nation on earth should be doing more to address global poverty. From ending segregation to providing women with the right to vote, nearly every wrong ever righted in history was achieved through advocacy. The Borgen Project addresses the big picture, operating at the political level advancing policies and programs that improve living conditions for those living on less than $1 per day.

~ Care: Increasing Access To Education In Pakistan

~ Pakistan And India: The Battle For Rice Exports

~ Organizations Alleviating Pakistan’s Water Crisis

~ Bt Cotton Fights Poverty In Pakistan

~ Examining The Belt And Road Initiative In Pakistan

~ Linking Poverty And Terrorism In Pakistan

Beyond Covid-19

Samar Quddus, The News, Pakistan, 16 February 2021

[accessed 16 February 2021]

Besides food insecurity, the prevalence of undernourishment in the country is also high and persistent, leaving children more susceptible to viral infections. Almost 40 percent of the children are stunted countrywide, making Pakistan as the third highest country with stunted children in the world. The burden of wasted children below the age of five is also as high as 17 percent, surpassing the internationally agreed emergency threshold of 15 percent.

Similarly, children are highly micronutrient with almost half of children in the country reported to be anemic. The numbers are expected to worsen in the long term as nutrition services in the country are severely disrupted during the pandemic year.

Despite the fact that the Covid-19 spread has remained moderate in the country compared to many other countries, the food security and hunger situation has still been worsened by the partial lockdown that particularly impacted food supply and prices.

As a main driver of high inflation, food prices continue to rise adding more to the miseries of low-income household and daily wagers. The rising trend in food prices, coupled with real income losses and rising poverty, has compelled low-to-middle income households to decrease their daily calorie consumption. The sticky domestic food inflation has been forcing households to further cut down their health and education expenses in order to meet their necessary dietary requirement, threatening to set back progress even further.

Addressing poverty

The News, Pakistan, 13 December 2020

[accessed 13 December 2020]

In order to address poverty and hunger in Pakistan, the incumbent government needs to take other important steps such as industrialisation, addressing the ever-highest inflation, setting up cheaper energy projects , ensuring that everyone has access to education, launching low-cost housing schemes and ensuring rule of law. Such actions will bring prosperity to the country and provide employment to the unemployed.

The brave tender souls

Experience by Salman Nizami, Greater Kashmir, 28 October 2010

[accessed Oct. 29, 2010]

[accessed Oct. 22, 2020]

One day I asked Aabid if he would show me his home and introduce me to his family so I could understand his life and the life of the other street children here. And so, awkwardly, he led me to his poor neighbourhood Chak Dhara – Fakir gojri village. His home, like all the others in the area, is made of mud. Aabid introduced me to his elder brother who has not been able to work since he was injured in the Kashmir conflict few weeks ago. I also met his mother who showed me the family's one small bedroom in which six people sleep packed together. There was no furniture, no cupboards, no spare clothes left hanging, not even any glass in the windows - just cardboard. And no fire to keep them warm at night. Aabid earns about Rs.100 a day selling Kashmiri handicraft items. With that he buys the basics for his family, mostly just bread and sugar. Rice, he told me, is a treat - and the last occasion he ate meat was a year ago. I asked him how he felt about his situation. "I am happy and not happy," he told me. "Happy because I work, but not happy because I cannot earn enough to bring my family everything they need." Aabid is not exceptional in this town - tens of thousands of children work on the streets of Kashmir cleaning shoes and selling handicraft items, fruit and vegetables toiling away in markets and workshops as their family's main bread winners.

Action Against Hunger - Pakistan

[accessed 21 March 2021]

Pakistan is highly impacted by climate change. In 2019, earthquakes, heavy rainfall, and drought hit the country. In Sindh and Baluchistan, a severe drought affected 5 million people and devastated agriculture. Additional, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is still going through a crisis due to military operations against militias in tribal areas, which has led to high levels of displacement. Overall, the country has one of the world's worst malnutrition rates, with 45% children under five stunted.

The World Bank in Pakistan

[accessed 21 April 2021]

Pakistan has important strategic endowments and development potential. The increasing proportion of Pakistan’s youth provides the country with a potential demographic dividend and a challenge to provide adequate services and employment.

Looking back a few years …

Advameg, Inc., Encyclopedia of the Nations

[accessed 8 December 2020]

Despite steady expansion of the industrial sector during the 1990s, Pakistan's economy remains dominated by agriculture. Agriculture and industry made roughly the same contribution to GDP—26% and 25%, respectively—in 2001, although 44% of the labor force was in agriculture and only 17% industry.

Exports of primary agricultural products are concentrated in cotton and rice. One-fourth of the land is farmed or used for grazing, and much of this is planted to food crops for domestic consumption. Pakistan is generally poor in natural resources, although extensive reserves of natural gas and petroleum are being exploited. Iron ore, chromite, and low-quality coal are mined.

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