Australia's support to Pakistan is underpinned by three important cross-cutting themes – women's empowerment, stability and good governance. We recognise that progress in these areas is critical to Pakistan's ability to realise its development and economic objectives.
Gender equality is a core policy priority for Australia. Our focus on women's economic empowerment, especially through women's involvement in market development and trade, will help women lift themselves and their families out of poverty and participate more in the country's growing economy. Our aid investments in economic growth, education, health, and stabilisation and provide girls with the foundational skills for productive lives.
Australia also has zero tolerance towards violence against women and girls, and invests in an Elimination of Violence Against Women program. Violence is a fundamental barrier to the rights of women and girls, undermines a country's social fabric and costs billions of dollars in health care and reduced economic productivity.
Pakistan's stability is critical to both economic growth and human development, and regional security. Instability undermines economic growth, discourages private sector investment and results in high unemployment rates, particularly among youth. Pakistan's Vision 2025 policy links peace, security, and stability approaches with development interventions, and Australia will work to support stability through its current and future aid investments. Australia will prioritise its support to Pakistan's insecure border areas - Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Balochistan. These areas are amongst the most insecure and disadvantaged in Pakistan. Our investments promote human development, economic growth and prosperity in these regions, with a focus on the most vulnerable, and help build the capacity of community organisations and government to deliver services, especially after crises.
In times of crisis, Australia will support Pakistan's most vulnerable through additional humanitarian assistance.
Governance affects virtually all aspects of a country's prosperity. An effective public sector and functioning, predictable institutions provide the foundations for economic growth, private sector investment and trade. Well-functioning institutions generate revenue and redistribute income. They deliver and implement appropriate policies in fields such as education and health and deliver services that are essential for building a skilled, productive and healthy workforce. As many of these services are delivered at the provincial level in Pakistan, the Australian aid program supports provinces to deliver critical services in education, nutrition and rural infrastructure. Our aid investments also work at the local level to empower communities to prioritise and address development problems, while our policy dialogue focuses on the critical role that leaders, networks and coalitions play in promoting reforms and achieving development outcomes.
Pakistan Elimination of Violence Against Women Program
$7.46 million, 2014- 2018
The program will deliver services for women affected by violence, including shelters, counselling, legal aid and medical services, as well as income generation support to help survivors reintegrate back into their communities. Support will be provided to strengthen the capacity of police, medical institutions and the judiciary to respond to cases of violence and to support and implement policy and legislation to protect women from violence. The program will engage with men, women, youth, religious and community leaders to educate to challenge attitudes and behaviours that tolerate violence against women.
Multi-Donor Trust Fund for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, FATA and Balochistan
$56 million, 2010-2020
The World-Bank administered Multi-Donor Trust Fund for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Balochistan (MDTF-BA) was formed in August 2010 at the request of the Government of Pakistan and development partner countries to respond to crisis in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Federally Administered Tribal Areas and Balochistan. It supports recovery from the impact of the crisis through reconstruction and development restoring infrastructure, improving local and provincial services and institutions, and livelihoods, while addressing governance and other challenges that contributed to the crisis. Australia provided $31.3 million to round I, $10 million to a current bridging phase, and is planning to provide further funding to Round II of the Fund (2016-2020).
Support for Humanitarian Operations
$21 million, 2014-2018
The United Nations reports that 1.6 million people are currently displaced by conflict in north-west Pakistan. Australia supports the World Food Program (WFP) to provide lifesaving humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable in response to varied humanitarian crises across Pakistan, in collaboration with donors, other UN agencies, NGOs and the Government of Pakistan.
The WFP provides emergency food relief, livelihood support, school feeding, and community administered malnutrition programs, in response to varied and complex humanitarian emergencies, and supports disaster preparedness.