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Gender parity in education is slowly being achieved, though in Balochistan, parity in primary and secondary education fell between 2002 to 2012.At the start of 2015, Pakistan is not on track to attain the Millennium Development Goal for gender parity in education.
Unlike its predecessors, the program transfers money to the female head in each household, the idea being to increase women’s empowerment.
The BISP significantly increased the amount of social welfare the Pakistani government was spending on the poor.
Provincial poverty data indicate that poverty rates have converged across the country.
According to a World Bank report, in 1999, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had a much higher poverty rate (41%) than other provinces in Pakistan.
Next highest were Punjab (30%), Sindh (26%) and Balochistan (22%).
The poverty data from 2011 shows a marked improvement: Balochistan province had the highest poverty rate (17.7%), followed by KPK (14%), Punjab (13.7%) and Sindh with the lowest rate (12%).Pakistan’s Bureau of Statistics does not collect CPI data from rural areas, which means that there is one uniform poverty line for rural and urban households, even if they spend different amounts to meet their minimum requirement of calories.Furthermore, there has not been a census in Pakistan since 1998, meaning the population weights and sample sizes become increasingly imprecise.While some of Pakistan’s aid projects have already been mapped, Aid Data also applies purpose and activity codes to data drawn from the OECD’s Creditor Reporting Systems which allows for a simple comparison of what types of poverty related projects have been prominent (see Figure 4 below).Figure 4: Total commitments to poverty related projects by sector from multilateral and bilateral donors, 1952-2012 (constant 2011 $)Cumulatively, the energy sector has been the largest sector recipient of development related aid, which is not surprising given Pakistan’s chronic problems with reliable electricity supplies.But stronger and more sustained growth is needed to continue reducing poverty in order to reach the poorest of the poor.Equitable income distribution is important, as it can influence the effect of growth on poverty reduction: if income inequality is high, economic gains are more likely to accrue accrue to the wealthy with little left for the poor.Through a combination of continued economic growth, income support programs and large inflows of workers’ remittances, consumption growth of the poorest 40% has managed to keep pace with the rest of Pakistan’s population in recent years.Overall, Pakistan has done well in converting economic growth into poverty reduction (see Figure 2 below).Growth in the new millennium did not alter the pace of poverty reduction, demonstrating that the responsiveness (or elasticity) of poverty to growth has declined.Going forward, even stronger growth, coupled with direct interventions, may be needed to achieve further falls in poverty.