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Germany and Pakistan have been partners in international cooperation for more than 54 years. GIZ has been working in Pakistan on behalf of the German Government, mainly the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Federal Foreign Office (AA), since the bilateral agreement was signed in 1972, and has maintained a country office in Pakistan since 1990. With a total of 16 projects and programmes at present, the Pakistan portfolio is one of GIZ’s largest worldwide.  

Currently, there are around 60 international and more than 380 national staff working for GIZ in Pakistan, as well as two CIM experts.

Despite its considerable potential, Pakistan faces numerous social, economic and political challenges, including a high rate of illiteracy, poor access to education and health care, a low level of political participation, high unemployment and widespread poverty. Women and girls are particularly disadvantaged in economic, social and political Terms.

The destructive exploitation of natural resources, lack of infrastructure, low tax revenues and widening energy supply gaps are major obstacles to development. The situation is exacerbated by a lack of transport and storage capacity, resulting in substantial losses, particularly in agriculture.

Good governance, rule of law and reliable delivery of public services that also benefit poor, low-income groups continue to be major challenges for Pakistan. Governance performance by the central and provincial authorities is not yet sufficient for sustainable development. Ongoing problems with public safety and security – as a result of religious or other forms of extremism, for example – and natural disasters further impede Pakistan’s development Progress.

The geographical focus of Germany’s international cooperation with Pakistan is Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province in the north-west of the country. GIZ concentrates on the following priority Areas:

  • good governance
  • basic education and vocational training
  • renewable energies and energy efficiency
  • health.

Good governance is a key issue. Here, the aim is to create a more enabling environment for development, which will also have an effect in other priority sectors.

For a number of years, GIZ has been working on behalf of BMZ to support development and reconstruction in politically sensitive areas, such as the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), which border Afghanistan, and the Swat region. On behalf of the German Federal Foreign Office (AAA), GIZ is building the capacities of the prosecution services and police in Sindh and Punjab Provinces, and is working to improve social standards in the textile and garment industry.

Due to GIZ’s widely recognised services and longstanding presence in Pakistan, several donors are providing additional cofinancing for BMZ projects. In the education sector, cofinancing agreements exist with the European Commission, the Netherlands, Norway and the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID). In the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on the border with Afghanistan, the French development agency Agence Française de Développement (AFD) cofinances services in the health sector, while the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) provides cofinancing for measures to improve people’s livelihoods.