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World Vision Forced Out of Pakistan After 13 Years

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The country loses an estimated $130 million in aid by expelling 18 international charities.

Pakistan has told 18 international organizations, including the Christian charity World Vision, to pack up and leave. Their departure will affect millions in poor communities across the country, the sixth most populous in the world.

Church leaders—who represent a small Christian minority in the Islamic Republic (1.5% of 210 million people)—support regulations for non-governmental organizations but want groups backed by national churches to be allowed to continue operating legally.

World Vision served more than a decade in Pakistan before the country formally joined its Asian neighbors like India, Russia, and China in restricting international involvement, claiming security concerns. In the midst of a struggling democracy and sagging economy, most Pakistanis prefer to seek aid from China and Saudi Arabia rather than Western countries.

A year ago, 27 international organizations were given expulsion orders, but 18 groups, including World Vision, continued operating while they appealed the decision. The Interior Ministry stated the organizations had violated their mandates to work in the country. Last month, a senate human rights committee pushed for more detail, requesting officials “inform international non-government organisations (INGO) the reasons why they could not be registered.”

After the government gave its final notice, November 30 was the last working day for the 18 organizations, which come from the US, UK, and elsewhere in Europe.

Pakistan Humanitarian Forum, an umbrella representing most of the charities, says that the evictions will affect 11 million people and represent $130 million in assistance. In addition to World Vision, two other ousted charities were also faith-based, Catholic Relief …

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Source: Christianity Today Magazine

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