People Helped in 2016: 395,539
Pakistan has South Asia’s second largest economy. However, entrenched poverty, social inequality, and limited access to basic social services—along with persistent conflict and natural disasters—have limited its development. While Pakistan has made dramatic progress in reducing polio and other health threats, national surveys estimate that rates of child stunting from undernutrition have not improved in 30 years. At present, 45 percent of children in Pakistan are stunted, and 16 percent of children under the age of 5 suffer from acute undernutrition.
In 2005, a powerful earthquake hit northern Pakistan, killing more than 80,000 people and leaving 3.5 million without shelter. A powerful cyclone and floods in 2007 damaged homes and assets. In 2010, heavy monsoon rains triggered an unprecedented “megadisaster,” flooding more than one fifth of Pakistan’s land and destroying the crops, homes, and livelihoods of 20 million people. In 2015, vulnerable populations were again hit hard by economic hardship and crises. Violence in Pakistan’s north-west region displaced 1.6 million new or previously displaced people. Monsoon floods affected approximately 1.6 million people in more than 4,000 villages in Sindh. And in October 2015, an earthquake in Badakshan in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa destroyed communities and disrupted livelihoods.
Undernutrition and the displacement of populations due to conflict are two of the most significant humanitarian challenges that Action Against Hunger is addressing in Pakistan. Action Against Hunger has maintained a strong presence in both Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Sindh provinces throughout 2016, despite increasing operational challenges in the country. In partnership with the European Union and the Department of Health, we are closing a four-year program aimed at improving nutrition in Sindh for nursing mothers and pregnant women, children under the age of five, and infants. Throughout implementation of the program, we worked in 41 Union Councils to provide direct treatment, train health workers, and build the capacity of local healthcare providers, and we have now begun to hand over all activities to the District Health Authorities. Action Against Hunger is also responding to the displacement crisis in KP to address vulnerability and reinforce longer-term resilience of displaced communities through integrated water and sanitation, nutrition, food security, and livelihoods programs. We are also managing operational research programs in Pakistan to generate evidence on the impact of cash transfers, and water and sanitation programs, respectively, on reducing prevalence of undernutrition.
Action Against Hunger began working in Pakistan in 2005. We currently have programs in Islamabad, Dadu, Badin, Peshawar, Bannu, and Kohat.
Visit with a village in Pakistan to see how that community took on malnutrition with a project combining nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene in a interactive site. (Use of the map requires Adobe Flash.)