W ith a population of 180 million, Pakistan is the world's sixth most densely populated country with GNI (Gross National Income) per-capita of US$ 1,360 in 2013-14, classified as a lower middle-income country. In the past few years, Pakistan had faced significant economic challenges with cycles of high economic growth interrupted by shocks and crises and followed by relative stagnation. The country’s recovery from the 2008–09 global financial crises was the weakest in South Asia, with growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) averaging 2.9 during the 2009-13 period. The historic floods of 2010 and 2011 significantly damaged its economy, in addition to a series of political and security challenges. Despite deterioration of the macroeconomic situation due to political turmoil and floods in summer 2014, the economy has demonstrated signs of recovery. In 2014-15, real GDP growth is expected to reach between 4.4-4.6 percent with inflation estimated to remain low at around 5 percent.
P akistan has made considerable progress in reducing absolute poverty and improving shared prosperity. Between 1991 and 2011, the national poverty rate has fallen from 34.7 percent in 2002 to 13.6 percent in 2011. Real per capita consumption for the bottom 40 percent of the population - a measure of shared prosperity - grew faster than among the top 60 percent. Progress, however, slowed in 2009 due to two massive floods hitting the country, conflict, and the global economic slowdown. Nearly three-quarters of the population are still either poor or vulnerable. Pakistan’s recent poverty gains remain fragile partly because many households are clustered near the poverty line.
P akistan’s progress toward human development and the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) targets has been uneven. Despite some improvements, Pakistan remains one of the worst performers against MDG targets in the South Asia Region, especially with respect to maternal and child health. Child mortality rates are almost twice the MDG targets. Stunting among children under five remained around 44 percent in the past few decades. Routine immunization of children in Pakistan has also been stagnating.
The proportion of children fully immunized is less than 60 percent, and this figure varies considerably across geographic, social and political boundaries. The regrettable deficits in immunization coverage are reflected in continued incidence of endemic polio transmission and the recent measles outbreaks especially in the Newly Merged District (NMD).