The UK is to provide £120 million over the next four years to help the Pakistan government reduce poverty, improve education and provide better healthcare, Secretary of State Douglas Alexander announced today.
Currently, a quarter of the population lives below the poverty line, one in ten children dies before their fifth birthday and two out of five children are malnourished. Only 60 per cent of five to nine year olds go to school. Twelve thousand women die each year due to complications in pregnancy and childbirth.
By 2013 this funding is expected to achieve significant results, by supporting the government in:
· Getting 4.7 million children in primary school – a 12 per cent increase;
· Reducing the number of underweight children under five by 100,000;
· Increasing the number of women and babies receiving skilled birth attendance by 580,000;
· Eight million families reached by the government’s social protection initiative;
· Access to clean water for 39 million people;
· Helping to agree and implement national policies on education and health.
Douglas Alexander, International Development Secretary, said:
“The economic crisis has hit Pakistan hard, pushing 14 million more people into poverty. Over the next four years, UK aid will make a real difference in this country, giving a chance to those born into abject poverty and ensuring that children can get the education and nutrition they need. That’s why we pledged to provide this funding earlier this year, and that’s why we’re delivering on that promise now.”
The funds, to be provided through the Government of Pakistan’s central budget, will form part of a broader package of public financial management reforms. This support is designed to help stabilise the Pakistani economy, whilst also protecting expenditure in the social sectors, such as health and education.
This support comes at a time when Pakistan’s public finances remain under severe pressure as the Government struggles to deal with the impact of the economic slowdown and the ongoing security situation.
Notes to editors
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