Information by Country

Pakistan: Background

Though poverty is widespread, Pakistanís economy has been growing steadily over the past several years. Real GDP (adjusted for inflation) exceeded expectations in 2004. Spending on education and health care has increased in recent years, although investments in water and sanitation have dropped over the same period.
Security is an ongoing concern. Armed guards are needed to visit some regions, and the volatile situation has caused the temporary closing of some provincial offices.

Issues facing children in Pakistan

  • Polio is a persistent scourge that has not yet been eradicated.

  • More than a third of children under age five are underweight.

  • The net primary school enrolment ratio is 76 per cent for boys, but only 57 per cent for girls. Girls are frequently the victims of discrimination.

  • Very few women have access to prenatal medical care. Most births (77 per cent) occur at home, especially in rural areas. As a result, maternal mortality rates are extremely high: 500 per 100,000 live births. Fewer than 50 per cent of women with obstetric complications receive emergency care.

  • Nearly one-third of Pakistanis live below the poverty line. A national plan to reduce that number to 13 per cent by 2015 has been hailed by human rights advocates, but has also been criticized by some as unrealistic.


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