Our impact

British Asian Trust

Families trapped in a cycle of poverty: 500 million people surviving on less than $2 a day

50% per cent of poor South Asians live in rural areas, and the gap between rural and urban poverty has been widening over time.

Rural women are especially vulnerable. They face many economic barriers such as lack of access to finance, land rights, and markets. While women have always worked in India, their work is undervalued. An illiterate woman in an unskilled job earns less than half what her male counterpart does. Cultural and societal rules often still prevent women from setting up their own businesses without the help of male relatives.
 
In Pakistan, approximately four million young people between the ages of 15 and 24 are unemployed, compared to the UK’s 750,000. This number could soar to 8.6 million by 2020 without the proper infrastructure to support education and vocational training.

When it rained, we stayed up all night and the children slept. We were worried that the walls or roof might fall down. Water came in on the ground and we tried to take it out with our hands.

Farkhanda

Future focus

Livelihoods initiatives provide a route out of poverty, not just for the individual but for entire communities.

To ensure that those on the margins of society are not forgotten, we have invested in initiatives providing access to vocational training, entrepreneurship skills and coaching in core life skills for 140,000 urban youth, rural women and disabled people.

In the next 5  years, we will invest in projects that help these groups to skill at scale, facilitate sustainable jobs and businesses including those in agriculture.

We’ve undertaken research to identify critical issues for smallholder farmers in India – one of the poorest of the marginalised groups, so that we can form catalytic partnerships and invest in projects that will help to break the cycle of poverty.