Multi-sectorial policy priorities and investments in Pakistan


Australia's support to Pakistan is underpinned by four important cross-cutting themes – women's empowerment, good governance and stabilisation and resilience. We recognise that progress in these areas is critical to Pakistan's ability to realise its development and economic objectives.

Women’s empowerment

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 women and girls with the foundational skills for productive lives.

Australia also has zero tolerance towards violence against women and girls, and invests in an Challenging Gender-based Violence Against Women (GBV) 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.

Cross-sectoral support programs

Australia will continue its Australia Awards program and will continue to build an active alumni network which brings together both scholarship and fee paying students to create new business and people-to-people links. The Australia Award scholarships align with our aid program objectives to build knowledge and skills in targeted sectors. We will make particular efforts to support women's career advancement and leadership development through our alumni engagement, and to promote disability inclusive development.

Australia will also explore innovative ways to connect Australia and Pakistan's universities including through institutional partnerships and technical exchanges, in order to contribute to human resources development and economic growth. Australia has committed to ensuring Australia Awards Alumni are using their skills, knowledge and networks to contribute to sustainable development in their country.

Australia Awards

$6.4 million, 2016-17

From 2014-2016, 118 Australia Awards scholarships have been awarded to Pakistani professionals for postgraduate study in Australia. In 2017, 47 new Australia Awards scholarships were awarded for commencement of study in Australia in 2018. Pakistan Australia Awards scholarships are managed under the South & West Asia Regional Australia Awards program through Scope Global.

* The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) is committed to high standards of transparency and accountability in the management of the Australian aid program through publishing information on our website, including policies, plans, results, evaluations and research. Our practice is to publish documents after the partner government and any other partners directly involved in the delivery of the initiative have been consulted. Not all material published on this site is created by the Australian aid program and therefore not all documents reflect our views. In limited circumstances some information may be withheld for reasons including privacy and commercial sensitivity.

Last Updated: 22 September 2017