Islamabad, 19 July 2018: The State of Pakistani Cities (SPC) report
launched today in Islamabad. The report presents the current state of
development in the ten largest cities of Pakistan and throws light on the state
of economy, social service delivery, planning and development, housing,
environment and heritage in the cities of Pakistan.
According to census 2017, 75 million people live in urban areas of Pakistan.
54 percent of the total urban population of Pakistan lives in the ten cities of
Pakistan. The report finds that larger cities have seen enormous urban sprawl
due to increase in population and change in land use in down town as well as
in the periphery of the cities and are becoming extended part of the cities.
Pakistani cities vary in terms of their size, economy, employment and tax
revenues. Services and industry are the major employment sectors in
Pakistani cities. The share of the service economy in the cities is larger than
the share of services in the national economy. Pakistan generates 95 percent
of its total federal tax revenue from its ten major cities and Karachi
contributes 55 percent, Islamabad 16 percent, and Lahore 15 percent. The
average urban per capita income in Pakistan among the ten cities varies from
PKR 37,000-70,000. Poverty in urban areas is a major and visible
phenomenon. Six out of the top ten major cities have double-digit poverty
figures: Quetta, with 46 percent has the highest poverty rate while Islamabad,
with 3 percent has the lowest poverty rate.
Access to clean water continues to be a major problem in Pakistani cities.
Only 65.2 percent of households in Pakistan’s 10 major cities have access to
piped water connections. The cities lack sewage treatment facilities and solid
waste management which leads to severe environmental pollution and
contamination of surface and ground water bodies. Shortage of power supply
remains a persistent problem in harnessing the potential of the socio-
economic development of the cities. Further, general understanding and
appreciation of the environment and heritage is low among the relevant
authorities and other stakeholders.
Increasing urbanization has created pressing demands for housing in cities.
The absence of any formal provision for the lower-income urban population
and the people migrating from rural areas to urban areas has resulted in the
creation of large informal settlements, lacking access to adequate level of
services. The report also features data gap in the urban sector in Pakistan as
one of the key limitation for sustainable development.
The report emphasises that Pakistani cities need to better plan and manage
their development to meet the needs and demands of their citizens and
indeed of the country. To prosper, cities need to be more responsive towards
the environment and adopt technologies and economies that are less
wasteful and destructive. Thus, taking a more realistic approach to
development that meets the demands of the present without compromising
the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
UN-Habitat Pakistan also launched its Habitat Country Programme (HCP),
Pakistan 2018-2022. HCP prepared and aligned with the Pakistan Vision
2025, United Nations Sustainable Development Framework (UNSDF) One
UN Programme (OP-III) and New Urban Agenda. It lays down the roadmap
for achieving SDG 11 and other crosscutting SDGs. The key objectives of the
programme include promoting socio-economic growth, improving access to
affordable housing, energy, water and sanitation and other basic services,
development of policies and regulatory instruments for sustainable
urbanization and reduction of the impact of disasters and climate change.
The Federal Minister for Climate Change, Mr. Muhammad Yusuf Shaikh in
his remarks reiterated commitment of the Government of Pakistan to
formulate the National and Provincial Urban Policies through participatory
approach to arrive at viable solutions for climate resilient urban development
in the country and support measures to implement SDG 11 for inclusive, safe,
and resilient cities. The State of Pakistani Cities report, 2018 provides the
basis for continued collaborative action to develop common and consistent
actions, policies and strategies which will ensure that the outcomes are
pragmatic and reflect the ground realities across the country.
Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms in her
address highlighted that Pakistan is fortunate to have 31 percent of its
population consisting youth in age bracket of 15-29 years. This “youth bulge”
provides a unique opportunity for utilizing their potential in contributing to
urban economic development. Value generated by the urban economy needs
to be equally shared through innovative, integrated financial mechanisms to
ensure sustainable flow of finance necessary for cities to meet the needs and
provide opportunities for all. Sustainable and inclusive urban economies can
be created by promoting urban strategies and policies that strengthen the
capacity of cities to realize full potential as drivers of socio-economic
The State of Pakistani Cities (SPC) report is spearheaded by the Ministry of
Climate change with the technical assistance of the United Nations Human
Settlements Program (UN Habitat) funded by the Australian Government. The
report highlights the underlying socio-economic drivers contributing to the
local development needs of Pakistan.
The report launching ceremony was attended by Federal Minister for Climate
Change, Mr. Muhammad Yusuf Shaikh and Federal Minister for Planning
Development and Reforms, Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, UN Resident Coordinator
Mr. Neil Buhne, Australian High Commissioner, Ms. Margaret Adamson and
other high level officials.
UN Women’s study puts rural women in the
spotlight by highlighting their day-to-day
Islamabad – 19th July 2018: Being the social and economic foundations of
rural communities, rural women play a key role in supporting their households
in achieving food and nutrition security, generating income, and improving
rural livelihoods and overall well-being.
In a launch event in Islamabad, on 19th July, UN Women Pakistan, in
collaboration with National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW),
supported by Canadian High Commission, shared the report ‘Status of Rural
Women in Pakistan’ with the audience, comprising of ambassadors,
government officials, representatives of rural development organizations,
youth and civil society organizations.
The contributions of rural women to agriculture, rural enterprises, fuel and
food production, local and global economies are remarkable, yet they
struggle to find their voices. A much-needed research on the status of rural
women highlighted the challenges and recommendations in areas of
education, labour force participation, agricultural subsistence and climate
changes, violence against women and girls, paid and unpaid employment.
According to the report, women in the agriculture sector are primarily
concentrated in dairy and livestock related work. The returns to labour are
low: only 40% are in paid employment and 60% work as unpaid workers on
family farms and enterprises. Their unpaid work is valued (using comparative
median wages) at PKR 683 billion, is 57% of all work done by women, and is
2.6% of GDP of the country.
Jamshed M. Kazi, Country Representative of UN Women Pakistan, in his
opening remarks, said, “This event is not just a report launch with lots of facts
and figures about rural ’s women’s health, education, social protection, and
economic participation. This morning is also about celebration and
recognition of the phenomenal contribution that rural women make not just
economically, but also politically, socially and culturally in their communities.”
The chief guest, Ms. Roshan Bharucha, Federal Minister of Human Rights,
said, “I, as Minister of Human Rights, feel that promotion and protection of
women is very important. Rural Women play important role in agriculture
working in the field and livestock. They play significant role in the economy of
our country. They should be encouraged by give them training and micro
credit which would lead them towards self employment which is the need of
Canadian High Commissioner, Perry Calderwood, showed his interest in
promoting gender equality and empowering women and girls through
concerted efforts by all partners. “Canada is committed to promoting gender
equality. Advancing women empowerment is at the heart of our development
assistance. It is an objective, but also key to achieving our overall goal of
reducing poverty and advancing sustainable development. This is the central
message of our Feminist International Assistance Policy.”
“Women are the backbone of Pakistan’s rural economy; however, they
remain invisible — uncounted and inadequately compensated and their
reproductive and care work taken for granted. The Rural Women Status
Report highlights the multidimensional nature of rural women’s work, their
vulnerability and identifies the drivers of change that could transform their
lives along with that of society and country”, Khawar Mumtaz, Chairperson of
National Commission on the Status of Women, said while adding to
considerations shared by the fellow speakers.
Yasmin Ziadi, Director, Center of Gender and Policy Studies (CGaPS),
presented the research findings to the audience, pressing the need to
introduce and implement gender responsive policies.
A panel discussion on presenting the strategies to improve the status of rural
women was also conducted. The eminent panelists – Ms. Khawar Mumtaz,
Chairperson, National Commission on the Status of Women; Ms. Shaheen
Khan, Advisor Learning & Innovation, Higher Education Commission; Dr.
Asma Haider, Member Social Sector, Ministry of Planning Development and
Reform; Ms. Mina Dowlatchahi, Representative, FAO; Dr Muhammed Azeem
Khan, Center for Rural Economy; Ms. Fajer Rabia, Executive Director,
Pakistan Alliance for Girls Education – discussed the key findings, touched
upon the challenges and shared their recommendations to achieve improved
statistics in coming future with regards to the status of women.
In his closing remarks, Neil Buhne, UN Resident Coordinator, said,
“Upholding gender equality and dignity – cross-cutting elements of Agenda
2030 and the explicit aims of SDGs 5 and 10 – requires concerted, well-
coordinated action by all duty bearers, institutions and communities. Building
on the progress Pakistan has made to date, we will leverage the UN’s
experience, resources and expertise to bolster government efforts to promote
gender equality and dignity.”