Pakistan currently ranks in the bottom 20 of the 144 economies around the world, according to the Global Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2012-13. Sixty million Pakistanis, or one-third of the country’s rapidly growing population, continue to live below the poverty line. Pakistan’s economic growth rate, estimated at 3.67 percent, remains insufficient to generate jobs and contribute to poverty reduction.
Pakistan lags behind its commitment under the Millennium Development Goals, particularly in the areas of education and health. Half of all Pakistani men and two-thirds of all women are illiterate. Insufficient primary care remains another major obstacle: one in 11 children die before their 5th birthday and 14,000 mothers die in childbirth annually. Natural disasters also represent an obstacle to poverty alleviation and economic growth. In 2010, strong rains caused flooding across the country and put 14 million people in need of assistance. The Asian Development Bank and World Bank estimate that recovery and reconstruction following the storm will require $10 billion.