Plan International is deeply saddened to announce that it has shut down operations in Pakistan after more than two decades of development work in the country, following an order by the Government of Pakistan.
Through a letter issued on October 2, 2018, the Ministry of Interior instructed Plan International to cease operations in the country within 60 days. The letter was in response to an appeal filed by the organization in December 2017, after its registration application was turned down by the government. No reason was provided for the rejection.
We understand that several other organizations in Pakistan have also been asked to shut down their operations in the country.
We are extremely concerned about the impact this will have on communities, particularly the hundreds of thousands of children that Plan International supported through its development work. We are also deeply saddened over the impact the decision has had on our own staff—who are all Pakistani nationals.
During more than two decades of operations in Pakistan, Plan International invested over $180 million in its work, which directly benefited 26 million people in over 29,000 communities.
Our key achievements in Pakistan have been:
- Providing access to clean water, sanitation, and hygiene services. Because of our work in this area, 9 million people now live in open defecation free communities.
- Responding to the needs of children during disasters, including the establishment of 16,000 emergency camps.
- Supporting 1.9 million children to get birth certificates.
- Ensuring equal access to quality education for all children. This included rehabilitating 964 schools and training more than 4,200 teachers.
- Supporting young people to learn key skills and get good jobs. As part of this work, we provided over 4,000 young people with vocational training and over 3,000 with microfinance resources.
- Training nearly 2,000 community health workers as part of our programming to improve children’s health.
The government of Pakistan has said that Plan International can reapply for registration in six months. The details on the process and the time it will take are currently unavailable.
Plan international will continue to take a keen interest in Pakistan—particularly on development issues that affect marginalized populations. We remain optimistic about our return to the country one day, so we can restart our work with vulnerable children, especially girls.