of Pakistan’s population is living below the poverty line.


people in Pakistan don’t have access to clean drinking water.


most vulnerable nation to the effects of climate change.


of the population lack secure access to sufficient food.

About Pakistan

Pakistan is one of the least developed countries in Asia. Nearly a third of the population are living below the international poverty line (less than $1.90 a day). Around 60% of the population of 193 million lack secure access to sufficient safe and nutritious food. In addition to this, rural communities are highly vulnerable to waterborne diseases – claiming the lives of 250,000 children each year. This is due to the lack of basic clean water and sanitation facilities.

Pakistan is vulnerable to many hazards, both natural and human-induced, including cyclones, floods, droughts, earthquakes, landslides, oil spills, and pollution. These result in loss of both life and infrastructure, and they place pressure upon the economy.

In 2010 alone, monsoon rains caused massive floods which killed nearly 2,000 people, affected more than 20 million and made at least 7.8 million people food insecure and inflicted over US$ 16 billion in economic loss.

In 2017 Pakistan, as a nation, only produced around half of its usual crop. This is due to changes in the climate and a lack of proper irrigation. It has driven food prices up and left millions of Pakistanis unable to afford sufficient food for themselves or their families.

Meet Ashraf, our country representative

How we do it

Disaster Risk Reduction

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Our Work in Pakistan

Tearfund has been working in Pakistan since 1973. Currently, we are collaborating closely with 20 local organisations. We focus on several issues, ranging from responding to disasters, developing theological training and small scale community savings groups known as Self-Help Groups.

Wherever it’s possible, Tearfund works hard to put more power and decision-making into the hands of local organisations – particularly when it comes to preparing for, and responding to, disasters. Locally-based groups tend to have a much clearer idea of what is needed for their communities and regions. It means that if disaster does strike, men and women are already present on the ground, ready to act – however remote and inaccessible the affected region.

This is the thinking behind the Shifting the Power project, in which Tearfund collaborated with Pakistan’s National Humanitarian Network. Over 170 national organisations have so far been empowered to respond more effectively to emergencies and disasters. It makes thousands of communities less reliant on direct interventions from Tearfund or other outside organisations.

After a disaster such as a quake or flooding has struck, the immediate response to save lives, and keep people warm and fed, is only the beginning. The communities hit, need to rebuild their lives and often their livelihoods, as land and equipment is damaged and destroyed. In particular we seek to make sure that the needs of women are recognised, through the promotion of women’s livelihoods and small scale community savings groups.

A recent example of this work is the Food Security and Livelihood program, supported by the Scottish Government, which responded to the widespread flooding at the beginning of the decade, with a focus on women’s livelihoods. Over 19,000 people from rural communities have received support and training to rebuild their existing livelihoods or start new ones, including goat-rearing, vegetable gardening and much more besides.

Vast numbers are affected by a basic lack of clean water and basic sanitation throughout Pakistan. Tearfund and our partners have helped to change the lives of millions with community-led water and sanitation projects. These help communities gain access to clean water, build functioning latrines and learn about low cost water purification techniques.

Pakistan currently produces more than 20 million tonnes of waste annually, of which only half is currently collected. There are huge implications for this, both for people’s health, and the environment, as much of this is burned.



households given emergency food, shelter and medical kits following flooding in 2010.


people from rural regions have received support and training to rebuild their existing livelihoods or start new ones following major flooding.


people are better prepared in case of further disasters, thanks to new District Disaster Management Authorities.


latrines constructed in recent Community-Led Total Sanitation project. This has resulted in improved domestic hygiene and lower rates of illness.

Pray for our work

  • Please pray for lasting peace to fall upon Pakistan. Pray that more families can rise out of poverty through livelihood training schemes.
  • Ask that through our disaster risk reduction work, communities are better-prepared for any future disasters, minimising the impact upon their lives.
  • Pray that through our hygiene and sanitation work, many more families would be able to access clean water, and enjoy better health.
  • Pray for the success and expansion of the waste management project. Pray that new hubs will open across the country creating cleaner and safer spaces for people to live and providing employment for marginalised groups.

Stories from Pakistan

  • Rubina's Story

    Desperate to keep her home clean, Rubina fears for the health of her children in a rubbish-strewn slum.

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  • Mumtaz and Beenish's Story

    Keen to provide a healthy home for their grandchildren, Mumtaz and Beenish have started to clear away the rubbish.

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  • Nargis's Story

    Fearing the floods coming at night, Nargis feels powerless to stop the build-up of waste that causes the waters to rise.

    Read More
  • The Bigger Story

    More about the inspiring work benefiting from UK government match funding.

    Read More

Where we're working