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Development assistance in Pakistan

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Pillar 3 - Economic recovery in Pakistan


Alongside international partners, Australia is supporting Pakistan’s economic recovery from the impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. While Australia’s bilateral aid funding to Pakistan ceased in 2019-20, some of DFAT’s regional and global programs, as well as the work of other Australian Government agencies, continue to contribute to Pakistan’s development. Current programs as at April 2021 are listed below.

Australia Awards Scholarships

The Australia Awards Scholarship program aims to develop capacity and leadership skills so that individuals can contribute to development in Pakistan; and build and improve people-to-people linkages between Pakistan and Australia. Important foci for Australia Awards are the empowerment of women, inclusion of people with disability and individuals from disadvantaged social groups.

Further information can be found on the Australian Awards Scholarships in Pakistan web page.

Water and food security

Water security is a challenge shared by Australia and Pakistan. Similarities between the Murray Darling Basin and Indus have long provided a foundation for technical cooperation, including more recently through a Memorandum of Understanding. Over the next four years, the Australian Government will invest up to $10 million to share our expertise in building water-sensitive cities with Pakistan. Australian and Pakistani experts from the public and private sectors will work together using the latest tools, techniques and technologies of urban water management.

Australia will also provide expertise through the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) to improve help Pakistan’s farming households lift production with less use of water and pesticides. Already some 15 Australian Universities are collaborating with 30 Pakistani academic or government partners on agriculture.

Further information can be found here, about ACIAR’s work in Pakistan.

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, and working to address governance and other challenges that contributed to the crisis.

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.


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