profile and objectives

Farming conditions in rural areas of Pakistan suffer by incomplete production processes, causing a low productivity rate in agriculture – lack of irrigation systems, wrong manuring and phytosanitary actions, deficiency of equipment and know-how for rural products processing (fruit and vegetables, jams, dairy products, olive and plant oil), not sufficient planting diversification, harvesting concentration in a limited period of the year, farmers and breeders low technical skills, scarce vet assistance. In addition to these problems, climate change consequences such as floods, glaciers melting, drought, erosions, earthquakes and landslides are making Pakistan a target for natural disasters.

In the last years the Italian Cooperation (Italian Agency for Development Cooperation after 2016) aims at supporting Pakistan on these topics, promoting value chains’ enhancement and valuable products cultivation, strengthening and expanding irrigation schemes, supporting most vulnerable communities, fostering new and flexible farming techniques. Following this needs assessment, the Italian Cooperation strengthened its presence in those areas of the country where it was already working, such as mountain regions in the North. Supporting cross-cutting development programmes focusing on environment protection, agriculture, irrigation, breeding and job opportunities creation also through eco-tourism, AICS Islamabad meant to support rural development through the lens of climate change and its consequences.

In order to determine its key objectives, AICS Islamabad is implementing Theory of Change’s principles and method, according with Italian priorities mentioned in the three-years planning programme and in the framework of Agenda 2030, identifying 2 different outcomes related to its action in Pakistan:

- Person, Outcome 1 (SDG 2): Guaranteed food security and supported resilient and sustainable agro-food production systems, promoting connections between nutrition and health;

- Planet, Outcome 2 (SDG 13.1): Strengthened resilience and adaptation to climate-related risks and natural disasters;

- Prosperity, Outcome 3 (SDG 8.9 – 11.4): Enhanced cultural and natural heritage safety, support economic activities and job creation for sustainable and responsible culture and tourism.

Currently, (August 2023) AICS Islamabad portfolio amounts to 242.7 million euros, including 5 soft loans programs and 7 grant projects. Pakistan Italy Debt Swap Agreement (PIDSA), for a total amount of approx 80 million euros implemented 49 projects (4 still on-going) in all the main sectors of interventions. Soft loans programmes are implemented in partnership with Economic Affairs Division (EAD) of the Pakistani Ministry of Economy, which represents the main counterpart and coordinates line ministries and provincial authorities contribution, while grants are carried out by International Organizations such as UNDP, UNESCO, CIHEAM Bari, ILO and IUCN in partnership with national and local organizations.

Regarding bilateral relationships with other donors, AICS Islamabad takes part to European Union, United Nations and World Bank working groups focusing on development and humanitarian aid; in particular, AICS Islamabad is committed to the International Partnership Support Group.