Category Archives: Articles

Human development

PRIME MINSTER Imran Khan in his first address to the nation cited statistics from the UNDP Human Development Report to frame the government’s priorities. The recently released Statistical Update on Human Development in 189 countries provides new information and points to ways to act on those priorities. As measured by the Human Development Index, people’s […]

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World Humanitarian Day 2018

The World Humanitarian Day was first marked on 19th August 2003, following the worst-ever attack on the United Nations Headquarters that explosively unfolded in Baghdad, killing 22, including Sergio de Mello, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the leader of the UN Mission in Iraq. Their murder highlighted the still growing risks that humanitarian […]

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Water insecurity

FOR many, climate change conjures up images of forsaken polar bears floating on icebergs made from melting ice caps, or hurricanes in the Caribbean turning island paradises into island hells. But the ones who are most affected worldwide are those with the least resources in fragile environments — including people in places like Pakistan. For […]

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Environment Day

TWENTY-FIVE years ago, the world came together at the United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro and agreed that the world’s environment could not be endlessly exploited. It had to be conserved through sustainable development. Around the same time, Pakistan was a world leader in ‘localising’ the global agenda with the approval of the […]

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Reducing inequalities

Despite huge challenges and setbacks, Pakistan has indeed made progress towards promoting social justice in recent years. More women and girls have opportunities to realise their potential, and legislation is enacted to reduce violence against women. The evils of child labour are brought forward and debated with renewed commitment. Politicians, policymakers and people are taking […]

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Breaking the cycle

STUNTING in Pakistan is a tragedy of epic proportions; a tragedy that we can, and must, overcome. Nearly half of Pakistan’s children — 44pc — suffer from stunted growth (National Nutrition Survey 2011). This is the third highest number of stunted children in the world. This means that 9.6 million Pakistani children have experienced chronic […]

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Humanitarian hope

If you see the news in Pakistan today, there are disturbingly diverse juxtapositions between stories about the lives of the powerful or famous and the stories – usually less visible – about extreme human suffering due to man’s own inhumanity or inability to mitigate risks from earthquakes, floods, cyclones and more. The World Humanitarian Summit […]

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Urban poverty

WHEN I first arrived in Pakistan in 1990, there were 120 million people. The population in urban areas was 33m. When I returned five months ago, there were 70 to 80m more Pakistani citizens, and the population in urban areas more than doubled to 80m people. The bulk of this growth is characterised by an […]

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