Switzerland’s development cooperation with Pakistan focuses on alleviating poverty, empowering people by improving good governance and livelihoods and generally supporting disadvantaged population groups. The SDC, which is part of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland, also provides extensive humanitarian aid in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) in order assist the people affected by crises, such as the 2005 earthquake and the 2010 floods.
The SDC’s humanitarian work mainly concentrates on rebuilding schools destroyed by the floods or the earthquake, ensuring the supply of safe drinking water by rehabilitating wells and assisting refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs).
The development cooperation focuses on reducing poverty, fighting discrimination and supporting disadvantaged population groups. The SDC is aiming to achieve this by empowering the population through strengthening local governance, increasing incomes by teaching the local people how to better manage their natural resources and supporting the vulnerable populations, such as women and children.
In order to streamline its humanitarian and development activities, the SDC is now focusing on two underprivileged and disaster-prone regions in Pakistan, namely Khyber Pakthunkhwa (KPK) and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). These activities are provided within the framework of the Pakistan Hindukush Programme (PHP), which was launched at the beginning of 2012 and determines Switzerland’s presence in Pakistan until 2014 and beyond.
There are currently eight ongoing projects within the framework of the PHP and another two are waiting to be implemented over the next few months. Some of the humanitarian aid projects are the rehabilitation of wells, which have so far benefitted more than 25,000 people, the reconstruction of schools (so far more than 100) and the improvement of sanitation facilities. The development programme involves projects, such as the construction of microhydel stations in Chitral, which will provide more than 2,000 households with electricity by mid 2013; or the training in better crop production and livestock keeping, which has achieved a 16 percent income increase in more than 6,000 households in over 300 villages.