Australia and Pakistan enjoy long-standing friendly relations underpinned by strong people-to-people links. Australia is committed to supporting Pakistan in its efforts to build economic prosperity and enhance human development. Australia’s development assistance in Pakistan promotes economic growth, poverty reduction and human development, including for women and girls. It draws on Australian expertise particularly in the areas of water resource management and agricultural productivity.
Australian aid to Pakistan will continue to foster economic growth and job creation while supporting the building blocks for a productive society through inclusive human development.
Fruit and vegetable market in Multan, Punjab Province, Pakistan (credit: DFAT).
Australia will make a strong contribution to increasing incomes, facilitating trade and rural development through support for agricultural productivity and livelihood diversification, and through better water resource management practices. Australia will build resilience to safeguard its investments from natural disasters and conflict through disaster risk reduction planning. In 2014-15, Australia is establishing a Market Development Facility (MDF) in Pakistan which aims to create jobs and income for the poor by enhancing business performance, benefitting poor workers, small business owners, buyers and sellers. Through the MDF, Australia is looking to support small to medium sized entrepreneurs in the livestock, fruit processing and leather product industries.
A modern mango and banana farm near Mirpurkhas, Pakistan (credit: DFAT).
Australia will invest in better quality health and education targeting children in the first years of life and contributing to the foundation for Pakistan’s future economic prosperity. Recognising the barriers faced by women in many areas of development, Australia’s assistance will promote the empowerment of women and girls across its activities. Specifically, Australian support in 2014-15 will:
- improve maternal and child health, reduce child malnutrition, and reduce the incidence of avoidable blindness
- help provide 50,000 malnourished children with micronutrient powders to improve their quality of food and provide 18,000 women with iron folic acid supplementation during pregnancy. Australia’s support will also help screen over 100,000 children for various eye-related diseases and perform 10,000 sight-saving operations
- help train 4,000 teachers in early childhood care, as well as renovate or construct over 65 school toilets or classrooms
- improve early childhood and primary education through teacher training, provision of student stipends and learning materials and improvements to school infrastructure
- provide 60 Australia Awards Scholarships for Pakistanis to undertake post-graduate studies in Australian universities and over 20 short-term Australia Awards.
UNICEF Water, Environment and Sanitation Head Andrew Parker checks the water supply to a newly-built transitional school in Arja, near Bagh, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (credit: UNICEF).
Details of the proposed expenditure for this program for 2013-14 can be found here.
A table of proposed expenditure for 2013-14 and actual expenditure for 2012-13 for DFAT’s aid program can be found here.