Absence of Any Formal Social Security Mechanism

The developing countries, by and large, do not have formal social safety nets. I will refer to one qualification in case of Muslim countries in general and Pakistan in particular. That qualification is family system and other traditional ones which are conducive for alleviation of poverty. The deprived, underprivileged and hard-pressed have none to look for. There is no formal mechanism whereby the needs of orphans and widows can be addressed. In case of the death or major sickness of an adult working member of a family, children have no other choice but to forego their education and become active in the labour market.

In case of Pakistan, although the Islamic system of zakah and ushr has been established and it does try to reach the hard pressed, however, its ability to reach the targeted and vulnerable group is limited, especially in terms of availability of funds and even in administering such funds. Further, the average amount given to a household is extremely insufficient and is even unable to meet the basic needs. And the system as yet is not able to make the recipient self-sufficient in terms of utilisation of available funds for undertaking any productive activity.


Source: Poverty Alleviation in Pakistan: Present Scenario and Future Strategy, Mohibul Haq Sahibzada. Republished with permission. 

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