Sukh Initiative emerged from commitments made at the London Summit held in July 2012 and is a joint partnership between three foundations, namely Aman Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and David & Lucille Packard Foundation. Together, their goal is to increase the use of modern contraceptives in Karachi, Pakistan by 15% among 1 million married women in selected communities. The project began in 2013 and will continue till 2019.
Over a period of 6 years and with an investment of $15 million dollars, the project aims to achieve this goal through the following objectives with the support of 8 partners:
Pakistan is the seventh most populous country in the world, contributing 2.5% to the global population. The current annual growth rate for Pakistan is 1.49% and urbanization is occurring at a rapid rate of 3%. Nearly 35% of the population lives in urban areas, and this rate is expected to increase to 50% by the year 2025.
Out of all the major cities in the country, Karachi is the fastest growing with an 80% increase in its population between the years 2000 and 2010. The estimated population of Karachi is 18.5 million as of July 1, 2014.
Karachi is administratively divided into four districts with eighteen towns. About 40% of its underserved population live in squatter settlements which are characterised by poverty and lack of basic amenities, such as appropriate sewerage systems, clean water and health facilities.
Resources available for housing, transport, education and health are insufficient to cope with the demands of the growing population. Poverty, lack of space and environmental pollution leave dwellers, particularly women and children, at a greater risk for morbidity and mortality. Women in these areas less like likely to receive antenatal, natal and post natal services or use contraceptive methods.
The global increase in contraceptive use has reduced maternal mortality rates by 26% in the past ten years worldwide. Addressing the current unmet need for family planning can prevent an additional 30% maternal deaths.
63% of Pakistan's population is under the age of 25.
17% of married women of reproductive age wish to space or limit the number of children however, the do not use modern contraceptives.
60% of women who are using family planning, employ contraceptive methods that are considered 'least effective or reliable'.