In Pakistan we support roughly 15,400 children in 23 projects. We have worked in the country since 1975, in both urban and rural areas. We collaborate with local partners who have excellent local know-how and networks.


Education for a better future

Pakistan trails most of the rest of the world in education. Only half of all Pakistanis can read and write. Very few children go to school and only half as many girls as boys attend school.

Unsurprisingly, our work focuses on education for disadvantaged children. In both urban and rural regions, our projects give children access to schools. Additionally, we have worked with children and street children for a number of years.

The challenges

Pakistan is characterised by an extremely unequal distribution of wealth and income. One-third of the population is poor. Nearly half of all Pakistanis live in urban slums. The healthcare system is primarily available for civil servants and members of the military, leaving the poorer population to fend for itself. Consequently, the country has one of the world’s highest child mortality rates.

A girl in Pakistan at school. (Source: Jens Großmann)
In Pakistan, we particularly promote education so that children have a future.

Women are still only allowed to play a minimal role in public life. They only represent 13 percent of the working population. What's more, the literacy rate among women is only half as high as it is among men. Even today only half as many girls as boys are attend school. As a result, Pakistan lags behind most other countries when it comes to its educational system.

Another major problem is the dependency on large landowners. Poor farmers tend to cultivate the land in exchange for only a small portion of the harvest. To buy clothing and make other purchases they have to borrow money from the rich landowners, although they have no means to repay these loans. A growing number of family members attempt to pay off these debts. Unable to take on gainful employment, they inevitably become even more heavily indebted. This form of slavery is called debt bondage.

  • Our work in the country

    We focus on promoting education in Pakistan because this is an area that requires particular attention. Our work primarily benefits working children and street children. School dormitories are established for children who don't have the opportunity to attend a school in their home villages.

    However, it is also important to raise awareness of children's rights in the country. Girls, who continue to be vulnerable, are the main focal point of our work. We empower girls here to forge strong communities. Supporting entire villages is an important part of our work in Pakistan, as in other countries, because this is the only way to change existing structures sustainably.

    Furthermore, Pakistan is yet another part of the world where we support self-help group programmes. Women are empowered economically, socially and politically – and in their groups they campaign for issues such as better education.

  • Key figures on Pakistan

    • 1/3 of all Pakistanis are under the age of 15
    • 32 % of all children under the age of 5 are underweight
    • 58 % of all Pakistanis aged 15 and over can read and write
    • 12 % of the population lives below the poverty line
    • 7 % of all Pakistanis aged 15 are married

    Sources: World Factbook, United Nations

  • Floods in Pakistan in 2010

    In the summer of 2010, Pakistan was hit by the worst flood disaster in its history. One-fifth of the country was covered by water. The floods killed 3,400 people. About 21 million people were left homeless and without any livelihood. The water destroyed not only their homes, but also their crops and food. Thanks to the overwhelming generosity of donors, we were able to support some 140,000 people with food and clean water. We have built 87 shelters since the disaster struck to help children in need. Some will continue to be used as temporary schools over the coming year until we will be able to replace them with permanent structures within the scope of long-term development projects.

    It will take years to complete the reconstruction. Renewed flooding, triggered by heavy monsoon rains, hit the southern parts of Punjab and Sindh provinces in 2011, submerging an area the size of Israel.

    The flooding has exacerbated chronic problems in the country like malnourishment, exploitation, and poor education. The flooding destroyed over 10,000 schools and other educational institutions. The availability of food and healthcare services remains critical for roughly 3.5 million children, among them many who are severely traumatised. To help solve these problems over the long term, we are not only building schools but also empowering people with our projects, both economically and politically.

Pakistan: Help for street children

Pakistan: Help for street children

Extreme poverty, broken families and physical or sexual abuse are all factors that force many children and young people on to the streets. Our projects provide shelter, education and make every effort to reunite those children with their families.

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Who we are

Who we are

Kindernothilfe is a Non-Governmental Organisation founded in Germany in 1959. We partner with local non-governmental organisations in 33 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe to realize and protect children's rights.

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How we work

How we work

Learn more about how we realize children’s rights.

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