Young, dynamic English cricketer Moeen Ali has joined the HRH Prince of Wales’ British Asian Trust as its ambassador for its Livelihood campaign in Pakistan.
Noted for his penchant for taking wickets and sporting a long, flowing beard, the cricketer will help raise awareness about the campaign aimed at helping thousands of unemployed youth, women and rural poor in Pakistan.
Speaking about being the Trust’s ambassador, Ali said: “Though I am born and brought up here in the UK, I have very strong links with the country of my forefathers, Pakistan.
“I am passionate about the issues of livelihood, especially that of unemployment amongst the youth, both here and in Pakistan. I am looking forward to raising awareness about this important issue and visit the charities chosen by the Trust to help the unemployed youth, women and rural poor in Pakistan. “
Welcoming Ali on board, Hitan Mehta, Executive Director, British Asian Trust said, “We are delighted to have Moeen Ali as our ambassador. He will add energy and vigour to this important campaign.
Pakistan faces a multitude of challenges - almost a quarter of its population lives below the national poverty line, and some 60 per cent are just above it, economic growth is slow, large parts of its population are underserved by basic services such as education and healthcare.
Moreover, continuing political insecurity hampers the government’s ability to effectively tackle poverty issues. Poverty in Pakistan is predominantly a rural problem. While rural people make up two thirds of the population, they account for 80 per cent of the country's poor people. The country is also facing the challenge of creating more jobs and making the urban youth employable.
To address the livelihood challenge in Pakistan the Trust, in partnership with Citi Foundation, published a report titled Sustainable Livelihoods: Investing in Pakistan’s Future .
The report not only provides an understanding of the current livelihoods landscape in Pakistan, but also provides guidance and solutions for philanthropists wanting to address this issue by giving.
Speaking about the report and the long term impact of the Trust’s work, Mehta, said, “Pakistan finds itself in a unique position. It has the fastest growing population in the region, which offers a great opportunity to spur economic growth, but that is only possible if we are able to support interventions that work within the wider context of leveraging this demographic.
“By adding value to Pakistan’s infrastructure we work together to reduce endemic poverty, and begin to make a real impact on reducing that figure of 40 million living on less than $1.25 a day.”
Through its livelihood campaign and interventions, the Trust aims to help over thousands of poor in the next two years.
To support the campaign, the Trust will be launching the Livelihood Fund to generate £1 million by bringing together individuals, corporates, trusts and foundations that are all passionate about giving to South Asia, and through this collective support interventions that work towards unlocking the potential of the many thousands currently facing unemployment.
Key Stats for Pakistan
Almost 20% of Pakistan’s population lives in poverty, with many underserved by basic services such as education and healthcare. There are 40 million people living in such extreme poverty.
The population of 188 million people in 2014 is expected to rise to 270 million by 2050, when Pakistan is expected to become the world’s fifth most populous country.
The labour force is currently 60 million people, and is expected to rise to 87 million people by 2030, therefore, an additional 1.7 million jobs are required every year.
Pakistan’s labour market has both demand and supply side problems, as slow economic growth means there are limited jobs, and the labour force is not appropriately skilled or educated.