Poverty exists where
people lack the means to satisfy their basic needs.
Immediately the first question which comes to mind is
“what are the basic needs”?
Some define basic needs as:
“needs which are necessary
Others define it as:
“needs which are
necessary to maintain the prevailing standards of
Whatever is the definition of basic needs,
poverty results in poor levels of education and skills,
poor health, ignorance and inability to make a living.
Pakistan has a population of 160 Million. About 40%
of its population lives below or close to the poverty
line (source: UNDP
2002). It means two out of five Pakistanis do not have
the resources to earn a decent living, for themselves
and their families, and are also denied access to
adequate food, clean water, education, healthcare and
unfortunately, even basic human rights.
Poverty of 60 million people is certainly a huge
issue. Large number of studies have been done, solutions
proposed, policies adopted, huge amounts of loan taken
by the government in the name of poverty alleviation and
numerous programs and projects launched for eradicating
There is no doubt that Pakistan has made a huge
progress starting from its humble origin with millions
of refugees, almost no industries and even no hard cash
to pay government salaries. But in the words of Dr.
“Pakistan’s economic record for the past fifty years
(at the time of writing) is both impressive and
While there is an impressive increase in the overall
wealth, measured by GDP, but the distribution of this
wealth is disappointing. In an interview to
Marketing Review in
October 2005, he said:
It is true that the top 20% of
the household get 50% of the total income and the
bottom 20% of the household get merely 7%. So to
that extent it is true that the ratio is tilted
towards high income bracket household
The purpose of this section is to discuss ‘poverty in
Pakistan’. Although we will look at and discuss both
MACRO and MICRO factors, but our approach is to help reduce the
incidence of poverty around us: in our family, our
neighborhood and our place of work.
How world bank loans
create poverty instead of eliminating it, a letter by Arif Hasan
eliminate poverty?, Interview with Noble Prize winner
Dr. Muhammad Yunus
What is the root cause of
poverty in our society?
are active in Pakistan?
Where can you get more
Facts and Figures
How much does Pakistan
spend on Military, Health and Sanitation?