Save the Children first began working in Pakistan through its repsonse program for Afghan refugees in 1979. Later, Save the Children expanded the scope of its programs to fulfill rights and needs of Pakistani children so that they can achieve a happy, healthy and secure childhood. Today, Save the Children is a leading child rights organisation, with development and humanitarian response programs reaching more than 7.8 million people in 2015 alone.
SOME KEY FACTS
Pakistan currently has a population of 179 million, making it the sixth most populous country in the world1. Various estimates, place 24% to 44% population, living below the poverty line. Recent economic shocks, large-scale emergencies and inflation, make accessing food increasingly difficult for the poorest households. According to the National Nutrition Survey-2011, 58% of households are food insecure in Pakistan.
Children constitute over 48% of the population of Pakistan2. Poverty stricken, children are the most affected segment of the society, who take on the economic burden and serve on menial jobs - sometimes working for 12-15 hours a day. In the absence of state protection mechanisms, they are often exposed to hazardous forms of labour, life on the streets, child prostitution, trafficking, sexual abuse and conflict with the law.
The low level of investment in children results in the violation of their rights; including their right to life. The under-five mortality rate in Pakistan is 94 per thousand live births, and the neonatal mortality rate is 54 per thousand live births3. The National Nutrition Survey-2011 identified 15.1% of children under 5 suffering from acute malnutrition, whereas, 43.6% children were found to be stunted.
Similarly, education does not merit much priority in public spending; sharing only 2.3% of the GDP. Pakistan Education Task Force reports that one in every ten children, not in school in the world, lives in Pakistan. There are 7.3 million out-of-school children in the country; ranking it at second number in the world.
2 Based on the 1998 proportion of below 18 years population
3 Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey 2006-07