Poverty and Sustainable Livelihood

Chronic economic downturn in Pakistan on account of myopic policies, lack of management skills on the part of the planners and half-equipped implementation bodies have pushed more than 40 % population below the poverty line. The World Bank’s Task Force on Food Security in its report of 2008-09 put poverty in Pakistan to be at 36.1 percent. The latest assessments add at least 20 million more people to this club of have-nots. The figures now illustrate that poverty has increased more than 40 percent. It is not strange however that the majority of those adversely affected live in rural areas. Here, the poorest households are compelled to spend as much as 78 percent of their income on food and other most essential needs of their lives. Health and education are already compromised. Here, small and landless peasants and workers (both men and women) constitute more than 75% of the total population. This “Pakistan”, despite its size and contribution in the GDP, is deprived of economic support and social security or any public safety net.

SAP-PK believes that road to democracy and prosperity passes through rural areas and unless rural communities have alternative options of livelihood, hardly anything can be expected from them. And this is why livelihood is a development priority for SAP-PK. We also believe that poverty in Pakistan is a highly gender biased phenomenon because when it hits, it is girls and women who have to compromise their food intake, health, education and social and political mobility first, and this quagmire soon widens to engulf the entire population. And this is why women’s livelihood is key thrust in SAP-PK’s interventions regarding poverty alleviation and sustainable development.

SAP-PK’s Combat Strategies

  • Form and strengthen peasants and workers groups and networks at district, provincial and national level
  • Improve existing sectoral and managerial skills of peasants and workers groups
  • Provide financial support for their livelihood schemes
  • Develop linkages with agricultural research institutions and agricultural universities
  • Develop and disseminate info kits, research papers and dossiers on poverty and sustainable livelihood
  • Improve community physical and irrigation infrastructure for livelihood improvement.

Objectives

  • Improve well being of poor through formation and strengthening of peasants and workers institutions and supporting livelihood rights
  • Demystifying knowledge and Information to benefit informed advocacy and actions
  • Pro-Farmers, workers and women legislations

Achievements

  • 2400 groups (women,peasants’ committees and workers groups), contributing to social development and pro-people policies and decisions at local, provincial and national levels;
  • Sustained development activities in more than 380 communities where long-term development projects are ongoing;
  • 244 trained journalist/media representatives in 42 districts;
  • Pool of trainers on Human Resource and Democratic Development at district level including 232 minority activists in 42 districts and 32 theatre groups and 450 activists
    highlighting livelihood rights in their respective areas;
  • 1460 political and human rights activists in 42 districts are providing backup support to highlight livelihood rights;
  • 4000 farmers committees at village level, 400 at UC level, 42 at District level, four at provincial level and one at National level networks of farmers groups formed and operational in four provinces in Pakistan
  • Thematic and issues based research conducted and disseminated on the issues of food security, land and water rights, effects of market liberalization on rural women and  water management systems in Pakistan, and
  • Formed 1144 community organizations and supported 1283 livelihood and infrastructure schemes to benefit approximately 274,560 people.