Skip to main content

Development assistance in Pakistan

Flag of Pakistan

Pillar 1 - Health security in Pakistan


Australia has been able to support international efforts to strengthen the COVID-19 surveillance systems and reduce the effects of COVID-19 among Pakistan’s most vulnerable people, including emergency assistance. We have advocated with our partners for equity of access to a COVID-19 vaccine. Pakistan has been eligible to join the COVAX Advance Market Commitment to which Australia contributes funding. In addition to COVID-19 response efforts, Australia supports Pakistan and other development partners’ efforts to combat infectious diseases, such as polio, through our contributions to global and regional health initiatives.

ADB Pakistan National Disaster Risk Management Fund (NDRMF)

The Australian contribution of $4.5 million to the National Institute of Health (NIH), through the NDRMF (ADB administered financial intermediary), has strengthened COVID-19 surveillance systems by increasing genomic sequencing capacity to detect new variants. It covered the installation of new medical equipment and trained 754 health professionals at the NIH laboratories in Islamabad and four provinces. The project ran from August 2021 to May 2022.

Multi-Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, FATA and Balochistan

This World Bank-administered MDTF was formed in August 2010 at the request of the Government of Pakistan and development partner countries to respond to humanitarian crisis in border areas with Afghanistan. The Australian Government has provided $56.3 million from 2010-2022 to support recovery through reconstruction and development: restoring infrastructure, improving local and provincial services and institutions, while working to address governance and other challenges that exacerbated the crisis.

Through this mechanism, the World Bank made USD2 million of pooled donor funding, including from Australia, available to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Provincial Government to procure ventilators and personal protective equipment during the initial response to COVID-19.

Further information on the World Bank Multi-Donor Trust Fund for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, FATA and Balochistan is available online, including reporting dating back to 2010.

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Pakistan

In partnership with UNFPA Pakistan, Australia has provided AUD 10.7 million over six years (2018 - 2024) to improve access to reproductive health and protection services for women and girls from refugee, returnee and host communities in KP and Balochistan Provinces. The protracted humanitarian crisis in these border regions of Pakistan is a complex and dynamic in character. Populations tend to be mobile, and health service provision has been in transition to government management after the Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA) merged with KP in 2018. UNFPA also worked to improve capacity of the provincial governments’ health systems.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic arose in Pakistan, UNFPA has continued to provide essential services including family planning and support for safe deliveries.

Additional information about UNFPA Pakistan’s work can be found on the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Pakistan website.

World Food Programme (WFP) Pakistan

In partnership with WFP Pakistan, Australia is providing financial support and food assistance in areas bordering Afghanistan to prevent starvation and stunting. WFP works in collaboration with donors, other UN agencies, non-government organisations and the Government of Pakistan to respond to floods, drought, displacement, and widespread malnutrition. WFP provides emergency food relief, livelihood support, school feeding, community administered malnutrition programs, and supports disaster preparedness.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic arose in Pakistan, WFP has continued to reach vulnerable people in crisis situations with emergency assistance.

Additional information can be found on the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Pakistan website.

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance (Gavi)

Australia contributes to Gavi to support immunisation and health systems, and make new vaccines available in developing countries. In response to the devastating health and economic impacts of COVID-19, DFAT is supporting Gavi with a further $300 million from 2020-2025 for routine immunisations, as well as $80 million for Gavi’s COVAX Advanced Market Coordination (AMC) mechanism to ensure lower-income countries, including Pakistan, have equal access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccinations.

Further information is available here on Gavi and COVAX.

Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI)

Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only remaining countries affected by the circulation of wild poliovirus. Australia is committed to global polio eradication. Our global contribution to GPEI is $43.55 million from 2022-2026, which includes funding for immunisation and surveillance in Pakistan.

Further information is available here on the Global Polio Eradication Initiative’s (GPEI) work in Pakistan.

Back to top