In the Balochistan province of Pakistan, the most vulnerable people suffer severely from seasonal income crisis, acute food insecurity, severe malnutrition, and scarcity of water and sanitation. Due to unfavourable weather and under utilisation of resources, most of these people survive on low purchasing power with diminished economic opportunities.
We launched the ultra poor programme in Lasbela district in Balochistan to graduate people out of extreme poverty, in collaboration with Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund.
Our programme is specially designed to meet the needs of the vulnerable and marginalised, who are deprived of social and economic opportunities. We use an integrated model to provide a holistic environment conducive to socioeconomic uplift of ultra poor, poor and marginalised communities. The objective is poverty reduction through creation of sustainable conditions of social and economic development, including increased income and production capacity and social support.
Our holistic model has interventions in all sectors. We create social mobilisation for strengthening of community institutions. We increase health coverage by developing qualified paramedical staff and improving government health facilities. We promote education through community sensitisation, teachers’ training, establishing school enterprises and supporting government schools. We build communities through physical infrastructure development in renewable energy schemes, irrigation schemes, and drinking water schemes to collectively provide a sustainable enabling environment. Finally, we improve livelihood through productive assets transfer, skills and enterprise development trainings, with eventual graduation to microfinance.
|Ultra Poor Programme||Programme for Poverty Reduction||Government of Italy’s Facility and Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund||July 2015||3 years|
The microfinance sector in Pakistan is facing many challenges to build inclusive sustainable economic growth. According to World Bank Group Findex data, Pakistan is home to 100 million unbanked people which is 5.2% of the world’s unbanked population (2016). State Bank of Pakistan’s data shows that only 23% of adults in Pakistan use formal financial service and only 16% of Pakistani adults have an account with a formal financial Institution (2015).
We launched our microfinance operations in Pakistan in 2007 to contribute to the reduction of poverty, create self-employment opportunities, enhance household income level, and reduce vulnerabilities of people in poverty. Focused exclusively around women, we strengthen the income base of women in poverty by providing access to credit that in turn enables them to start and expand income generating enterprises.
Our microfinance programme has three main components: microloans, small enterprises programme, and agriculture programme. We provide microloans to women, and bigger sized loans to small enterprises. Our agricultural programmes provide loans to smallholder farmers for farming equipments.
We have recently adopted digital solutions for ease of transactions for our clients.
Pakistan tops the list in child mortality rate among other South Asian countries. The reasons for this are complications due to premature birth, pneumonia, diarrhea, malaria and malnutrition. Maternal mortality rate in Pakistan is 170 per 100,000 live births. Pakistan is the seventh country in the world where 90,000 children die at 5 years to pneumonia annually. According to UNICEF and WHO, out of 10, less than two mothers are engaged in early breast-feeding in Pakistan and this is one of the lowest rates of breast-feeding in the world. The level of progress to reduce the child mortality and improve maternal health is worst in the remotest areas of Pakistan.
BRAC’s health programme in Pakistan was established to support the Government of Pakistan to achieve the SDGs. We are fostering awareness and sensitising rural communities to improve access to essential health care facilities, particularly for women and children, to reduce infant and maternal mortality. We are delivering culturally sensitive health education lessons, along with basic curative services while linking patients to nearest government facilities through a network of trained community health promoters. These health promoters are trained to treat common diseases and referring patients with serious complications to the nearest government facility. They provide family planning services, as well as health and nutrition based education to families. They keep immunisation records of under-five children and their vitamin A intake in a family card. They also provide antenatal and postnatal care, promote breastfeeding, and refer mothers to hospitals when complications arise.
|Health||Basic and Preventive Health Program||ChildLife Foundation||June 2015||3 years|
Pakistan has the world’s second highest number of out-of-school children at primary level. Every tenth child out of school is Pakistani. Out of 50.8 million children in Pakistan between the age of 5 and 16, 24 million are out of school. 77% of them have never been to school. Gender discrimination is still rampant in Pakistan with catastrophic impact on girls’ access to, and attainment of education. Only 51% of Pakistani women ever attended school and in rural areas this number is even lower at 40%. 10% of them never attended school because they are situated too far. The drop out ratio of children is at an alarming stage. 41% of students drop out before finishing primary school. Lack of basic facilities in schools, poor quality of education, teacher absenteeism are the main reasons for children dropping out of school.
At BRAC, we consider education to be a powerful tool for combating poverty, illiteracy and injustice. Our education programme in Pakistan provides primary education to out-of-school children. We support national efforts towards education for all. Our unique, low-cost, innovative, child friendly, non-formal primary education model leads to improved access and quality in education. We provide education through a one class room per school model with flexible timing, low cost teaching-learning materials, hygienic latrines and clean water facilities.
|Education||Sindh Education Foundation’s Assisted Schools||Sindh Education Foundation||January 2016||4 years|
|Sindh Education Non-State Actors Programme||DFID||April 2017||3 years|