Traditional scarf with ajrak ornament. Ajrak is a special form of block printing in Pakistan.

Pakistan Influential partner country in South Asia

Pakistan is a country of great geopolitical importance because it borders on China, India and Iran, plays a key role for developments in Afghanistan and is a nuclear power and a country of origin of refugees moving to Europe and a country of destination for refugees from Afghanistan.

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Parliament building in Islamabad, Pakistan

Pakistan is also affected by politically, religiously and economically motivated conflicts between Saudi Arabia and Iran. As a result, Pakistan has been trying to establish closer relations with China, both politically and economically.

A high level of population growth (Pakistan's current population is about 220 million), weak public administration, deficits with regard to the protection of human rights and to the provision of an enabling environment for sustainable growth, and high vulnerability to the consequences of climate change are posing great structural challenges for Pakistan.

The country's internal dynamism and its global weight make Pakistan an important partner for Germany's development cooperation.

German development cooperation with Pakistan

State Secretary Jochen Flasbarth speaks at the Pakistan Supporters Conference in Geneva

Germany and Pakistan have engaged in development cooperation since 1961, the year in which the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) was founded.

Germany's development cooperation with Pakistan is geared towards supporting the country in achieving sustainable economic development. The BMZ committed 174.25 million euros for 2020 and 2021 in support of these efforts. Cooperation focuses on the following core areas and areas of intervention:

  • Governance
  • Sustainable economic development, training and employment
  • Climate and energy, just transition

In addition, Germany is working in Pakistan to reduce push factors for migration and displacement by assisting the economically weak regions on the Afghan border in hosting refugees and improving municipal infrastructure in communities with high numbers of migrants. Where possible, account is taken of women as a target group in all projects, and special support is provided to their active participation.

Geographically, the programme of development cooperation is concentrated on the north-west of the country. Germany is one of the few donors working with their own structures and staff in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and in what used to be called the tribal areas (now Merged Areas). Another focus is on the populous Province of Punjab. Among other things, it is home to a large number of textile companies.

In mid-2022, exceptionally heavy monsoon rain caused devastating floods. In September 2022, the German Development Ministry committed assistance for Pakistan of a total of 39 million euros to help deal with the current crisis and the social consequences of the floods and with the reconstruction of infrastructure.

A shepherd in Naran Valley, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Pakistan

Governance Decentralisation facilitates more participation by the people Internal link

Germany assists provincial and local governments in the Provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab in delivering their new tasks, improving local governance, increasing tax revenue and reinforcing their dialogue with citizens.

Textile factory in Faisalabad, Pakistan

Core area “Sustainable economic development, training and employment” Vocational education and job creation Internal link

In their efforts to foster sustainable growth, Pakistan and Germany focus on approaches that foster the creation of inclusive and sustainable employment. Primarily, they are to create employment for women.

With the support of GIZ, solar systems are installed in Sindh, Pakistan.

Core area “Climate and energy, just transition” Solar, wind and hydropower instead of oil Internal link

Germany is using its development cooperation in Pakistan to help improve people's capacity for adaptation to climate change and to build administrative capacity to manage climate-related risks.

Current situation

People in a poor district of Lahore, Pakistan
Pakistani displaced people are returning to their home villages.
Primary education for girls and boys in the Tribal Areas (Pakistan)
In a textile factory in Faisalabad, Pakistan, cotton is tested for impurities.
Control centre of the hydropower plant Ghazi Barotha, Pakistan

Development potential Need for reforms Internal link