- About Pakistan
In Pakistan, United Nations Development Programme started in February 1960 as United Nations Special Fund to promote social progress and better standards of life and advance the economic, social and technical development of Pakistan. UNDP, as we know it now, was established in 1965 by the General Assembly of the United Nations.
The Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is located in the area where South Asia converges with Middle East and Central Asia. The country has a 1,046 kilometre (650 miles) coastline along the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Oman in the south, and is bordered by Iran and Afghanistan in the west, India in the east and China in the northeast.
Pakistan’s people and traditions reflect a mixture of many varied cultural influences. Although the modern Pakistani state was founded in 1947, it is home to one of the earliest known human civilizations, the Indus Valley civilization, dating back at least 5000 years.
Pakistan is administratively divided into four provinces: Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Baluchistan. the federal capital of Islamabad and seven Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). In addition, Pakistan administers one part of the disputed territory of Kashmir, known as Pakistan Administer Kashmir (PAK) and the Northern Areas. Punjab is Pakistan’s most populous province and produces a significant proportion of agricultural output. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa produces many varieties of citrus and dry fruits, as well as timber. To the south, Sindh is also known for its agricultural output and its capital Karachi is Pakistan’s largest city and port, and it’s industrial and financial hub. Baluchistan is the largest province in terms of size but is the least populated. Although largely covered by desert, Baluchistan is rich in natural resources and contains Pakistan’s largest natural gas reserves.
Pakistan is sixth most populous country in the world with an estimated population of 184.35 million in 2012-2013. The growth rate of population during 2012-2013 is 2.0 percent. Under current circumstances, it is expected that Pakistan will attain fifth position in the world in terms of total population in 2050.
Pakistan has taken positive strides in recent years to alleviate core development challenges. Nevertheless, the stresses of an economy under pressure, poverty, gender inequality, inequities and the demands of sustainable development remain, and have been exacerbated by both natural disasters and crises. The recurring large-scale floods, earthquakes, droughts, and landslides are all external shocks which have impacted on the people, their livelihoods as well as on national infrastructure. The floods of 2010 affected more than 18 million people and caused an estimated $10 billion in damages. They were followed by heavy monsoon rains in September 2011, which affected some 9.7 million people in Sindh and Balochistan. Natural disasters have disproportionately affected the excluded and the vulnerable. The economy has shown resilience despite the heavy cost of the struggle against extremism and terrorism.
Many of these challenges link Pakistan to its immediate neighbours and the international community at large. The impact has been particularly severe on the poor, women, children, the elderly, crisis-affected populations, persons with disabilities, refugees and temporarily relocated persons. Damage to habitat, loss of livelihoods,trauma of displacement and disillusionment has added to these pressures. Pakistan is also among the World's Top 10 in terms of vulnerability to the impacts of climate change, and the cost of adaptation is estimated at $10.7 billion per year for the next 40-50 years.
Pakistan's national and provincial elections were held on 13 May. This is the first ever transition from one civilian Government to another and a significant step forward for democracy in the country.
The 18th Amendment which strengthens provincial economic and political power, represents a landmark in the history of the country, both on the political front, as well as in terms of governance reforms. This amendment garnered cross-cutting political support and has ushered in a new era in the political, governance and development realms, with changes that are broad in scope. Not since the framing of the Constitution itself has there been a more significant reform, and of a comparably sweeping nature.
Women’s political participation has improved due to legal reforms and allocation of reserved seats in parliament. The women parliamentarians’ caucus has provided a strong forum for championing women’s causes. Pakistan has passed landmark legislation to strengthen the protection of women against discrimination and harmful traditional practices and to criminalize acid-throwing.
Overall, the country’s ability to meet its socioeconomic goals rests on its capacity to promote effectiveness, transparency, accountability and responsiveness of public institutions at both federal and provincial/area levels, as well as to increase targeted pro-poor investments and programmes and ensure a stronger equity focus. Key priorities include strengthening democratic institutions and enhancing rule-of-law capacities, structures and mechanisms to ensure greater people’s participation and public trust.