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Tearfund launches Matched Giving Appeal to reduce plastic pollution in Pakistan

18 Feb 2019

Today, Tearfund launches its Matched Giving Appeal to help build new recycling hubs in Pakistan that will prevent further damage to the environment, protect people’s health and provide jobs.

Backed by the Department for International Development, donations to Tearfund's Matched Giving Appeal will be doubled by the UK government, up to £2 million. This means that Tearfund will be able to make a bigger difference in some of the world’s poorest places.

In Pakistan, nearly a third of people live below the poverty line and rubbish is one of their biggest challenges. When rubbish isn’t collected it often builds up in rivers and causes flooding, which can lead to diarrhoea and a host of infectious diseases. Often the only other way to dispose of waste is to burn it in the streets, which is extremely damaging to health, as well as adding to climate change. With the help of the government’s UK Aid Match scheme, Tearfund will extend its work in slums in Pakistan to combat the problem, creating innovative recycling hubs so that rubbish doesn’t end up on the streets and in the waterways.

“Pakistan produces more than 20 million tonnes of rubbish each year and in cities like Karachi, two fifths remains uncollected. This rubbish is either burnt in the street, thrown into rivers, often ending up in the ocean, or builds up and causes flooding and health problems. The generous funding from the UK government will allow us to transform the daily lives of people living in Karachi and Hyderabad.” says, Ashraf Mall, Country Representative for Pakistan, Tearfund.

The problem of rubbish not being managed properly in the developing world is huge and continues to grow, having a devastating effect on people’s lives. Globally two billion people don’t have their rubbish collected, often leading to disease and death.

International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said: “Tearfund’s appeal will help improve plastic recycling in Pakistan, cutting both waste and water pollution in the country.

“This vital work will improve the health of generations of people, and create jobs and prosperity in the region. UK Aid Match will double every pound the Great British public donate to this campaign, meaning that their generosity will go twice as far.

“This builds on the essential work DFID is already doing around the world to tackle plastic waste globally.”

Donations to this appeal will help Tearfund transform lives around the world where the need is greatest. Match funding from the UK government will be used by Tearfund’s partners in Pakistan, to help people like Rubina.

Rubina lives in a slum and works hard to earn enough income to look after her three children. With no rubbish collection in the community, rubbish builds up and can spread diseases. The piles of rubbish are also burnt, releasing toxic fumes and causing respiratory problems. Javed, one of Rubina’s sons, who lives with a disability, is particularly prone to this. They regularly have to take him by taxi to the hospital because his breathing is so bad. Rabina is worried about the health of her children and struggles to pay any medical bills. The creation of the new recycling hubs will improve the living conditions for people like Rubina, creating a cleaner and safer environment for her children to grow up in and also providing jobs for those in the local community.

For further information or interviews please contact: Ann Hallam on 07929 330366 or contact the Tearfund Media Team on 0208 943 7792. For out of hours media enquiries please call +44 (0)7498 540276.

About Tearfund
Tearfund is a Christian relief and development agency and a member of the Disasters’ Emergency Committee. Founded in 1968, Tearfund has been working around the world for more than 50 years responding to disasters and helping lift communities out of poverty. For more information about the work of Tearfund, please visit

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