Summary of publication
In 2018-19 Pakistan elected a new government, led by Prime Minister Imran Khan, with a renewed development agenda. However the deterioration in macro-economic conditions, multiple protracted humanitarian crises and a volatile security environment have dominated government attention. Our aid program managed these challenges and continued to deliver services and evidence-based policy reform at national and provincial levels. We invested where long-term development needs in Pakistan converged with recognised Australian strengths.
The May 2019 budget announced that the Pakistan bilateral aid program would be $19.0 million in 2019-20, down from $39.2 million in 2018-19, with bilateral program fully phasing out during 2020-21.
Our Aid Investment Plan: 2015-16 to 2018-19 ended in this reporting period. Our modest ongoing aid footprint drawing on regional and global funding, will reinforce select areas where Australia can make the most difference in Pakistan.
Rating of the Program's progress and bilateral ODA expenditure in 2018-19
|Objective 1: Investing in Pakistan's people with a focus on women and girls
|Objective 2: Improved water, food and economic security
|Objective 3: Supporting stabilisation and resilience
Objective 1: Investing in Pakistan's people with a focus on women and girls
Though the majority of performance targets were met under this objective, it was rated amber, down from green last year. This was due to the de-registration of an implementing INGO partner (Trocaire) and implementation delays in our UNFPA implemented program working in the culturally sensitive gender-based violence and reproductive health sectors.
Objective 2: Improved water, food and economic security
This objective was rated green as a result of delivery against benchmarks, strong policy engagement with the Pakistan Government and economic improvements to people's lives. This positive assessment was corroborated by the findings of an independent evaluation of the Pakistan economic growth portfolio in 2018.
Objective 3: Supporting stabilisation and resilience
Implementation of management actions identified last year lifted the previous amber rating for this objective to green. In this reporting period, the National Disaster Risk Management Fund (NDRMF) commenced implementation after being delayed in the lead up Pakistan's federal election and there was notable progress in service delivery in areas bordering Afghanistan.
Headline management actions for 2019-20:
- Wind down investments under the bilateral program while protecting and promoting Australian interests
- Prioritise ongoing policy engagement and influence in areas where Pakistan's development needs and Australia's strengths converge, specifically, gender equality and water resource management
- Manage ongoing support for Australia Awards scholarships in Pakistan
- Continue to advocate for a robust civil society in Pakistan, including through a more transparent INGO and local NGO registration process
- Document and share the lessons and knowledge gained from our aid programs