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Pakistan, the sixth most populous country in the world, borders India, China, Afghanistan, Iran, and the Arabian Sea. The Indus River flows through the country’s fertile center. Northern Pakistan has some of the world’s tallest mountains, while southern Pakistan has mostly plains.
About 14 percent of Pakistan’s workforce is unemployed, and 24 percent of people live below the poverty line. Underemployment is also widespread.
Only 55 percent of Pakistanis can read and write.
The United Nations estimates that at least 45 million Pakistanis do not have a secure source of food.
Natural disasters over the past few years have affected millions of Pakistanis and severely damaged the country’s infrastructure.
Explore areas where you can help us build a better world for children.
World Vision is committed to partnering with the people of Pakistan to improve their lives today and to help enact sustainable solutions for the future of their children, families, and communities. Highlights of current programs include:
World Vision has worked in the poorest areas of Pakistan since 1992. Since then, some major accomplishments include:
Geography and people
Pakistan, the sixth most populous country in the world, borders India, China, Afghanistan, Iran, and the Arabian Sea. The Indus River flows through the country’s fertile center. North Pakistan has some of the world’s tallest mountains, while south Pakistan has mostly plains.
Pakistan is earthquake-prone, and the rainy season (July-August) causes frequent flooding along the Indus. The climate is typically hot with milder temperatures during the winter and cooler weather in the north.
Natural resources include salt, limestone, natural gas reserves, coal, and iron ore. Raw sewage, industrial waste, and agricultural runoff contribute to water contamination.
The largest ethnic groups—Punjabi, Pashtun, and Sindhi—make up about 75 percent of the population. Urdu and English are Pakistan’s two official languages. English is often used in government and business matters. Pakistanis also speak a variety of ethnic dialects as well.
Pakistan emerged from British rule in 1947 as an independent sovereign state that was split into eastern and western territories. To the growing resentment of East Pakistan, the West controlled the country’s political and economic power. East Pakistan broke away to become the independent state of Bangladesh in 1971, starting a civil war.
After the war, Pakistan began holding free elections, with the exception of a dictatorship from 1977-1988. The country’s economic and political situation worsened in the 1990s until General Pervez Musharraf assumed executive powers in 1999.
Turmoil and dispute accompanied the elections over the past few years, especially as the presidencies began taking more power from the prime minister. In 2010, Pakistan’s president signed an amendment to the constitution that limits the power of the president and restores the role and power of the prime minister. The government also continues to deal with insurgency groups and terrorism.
Floods in 2010 affected over 20 million people, killing thousands and displacing millions.