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Poverty in Pakistan - Case Study Example

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Pakistan is a low-income country with annual per capita income of $740.00 only. Almost one third of the total population lives under the poverty line and infant mortality is about half a million whereas 25000 women die during their first childbirth. Population is exposed to many health risks and social insecurity…
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Poverty in Pakistan
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Download file to see previous pages The government has been focusing on setting growth targets and trying to achieve them under the umbrella of millennium development goals (MGDs) (DFID 2004). These targets have always been hard to achieve because these are politically motivated and heavily financed by international financial institutions (IFIs) without consulting the civil society organizations (CSOs), local NGOs and larger section of civil society (CSOs letter 2000). The poverty reduction strategy does not challenge the basic power structure and perpetuates the inequality, social injustice and absolute poverty in the society. The trickle down philosophy of economic growth has largely failed to achieve any cogent results in the poverty alleviation programs since 1990. Therefore in order to achieve any results the development partners like NGOs and civil society activists propose (CSOs letterer 2000)
In the overall assessment of poverty situation it can be safely attributed that before 1990s some good progress was seen in the poverty reduction but due to some basic hampering factors in the society the progress could be kept at a consistent pace. The landowner ship is very skewed in the country. 60% farmers are either land poor or without a piece of land and remain as tenants through out their life. Less than 10 percent farmers are very big landowners and mostly remain as absentee landlords. The judiciary is not independent and the country remained mostly under the unbridled power of the military. Landlordism, judiciary and military and civil bureaucracy mostly join hands in keeping the majority of people under the vicious cycle of poverty (Press reports march 2007).
In the recent past history political situation in the country is very disturbed. The terrorist movements have devastated the whole country. The social spending has gone very low and the government is always gripped with instability (Press reports march 2007).
In November 2000 Pakistan started poverty reduction strategy with the introduction of interim PRSP -1 paper that was focused on the involvement of NGOs and CBOs both at horizontal and vertical level in order to ensure both local ownership and effective accountability (GOP 2004). This pro-poor poverty reduction effort rather disturbed the civil society than satisfied them because no extensive consultations were made and the whole exercise miserably failed. The planning and finance divisions of the government that could not substantiate the wider claim of consultations published the interim PRSP-1 paper in November 2001. Therefore the same was rejected both as contents and process by the civil society. However Pakistan's PRSP had four major elements (CPRID 2003),
1-Improving governance
2-Investment in human capital
3-Reducing vulnerability.
4-Consistent economic growth with macro-economic stability.
Both the government and donors consider it the only panacea for ills of poverty in the society. At the outset this is surely a good recipe but since the linkage of bureaucracy with the masses is very poor therefore it is almost impossible ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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