Dissemination Session/Seminar on Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS), Chaired by Chief Secretary, Sindh

Dissemination Session/Seminar on Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS), Chaired by Chief Secretary, Sindh

Posted on: 24 Oct 2019   Tags:

Karachi- dated 24th October, 2019: Sindh government is committed to eradication of poverty and the Poverty Reduction Strategy that has been adopted by the government has rightly identified existing economic hubs as rural growth centres instead of creating new sites. This was stated by Mr. Mumtaz Ali Shah, Chief Secretary Sindh, while presiding over the Dissemination Session/ Seminar on Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS). He said that the political leadership is fully behind the strategy which is aimed to reduce urban and rural poverty.  He emphasized that collaboration with European Union (EU) is of high value to Government of Sindh and it is clear that Government of Sindh will attain robust milestones in common efforts to reduce poverty.

The seminar was held to present the Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS), a 215-page comprehensive plan prepared by Government of Sindh’s Planning & Development Department in collaboration with the EU supported Technical Assistance (TA) Team to address rural and urban poverty. The Strategy was formally approved by the Cabinet of Government of Sindh in October 2018 with a target budget of PKR 72 billion envisaged for implementation over a 5-year period.

Ms. Naheed Shah Durrani, Chairperson Planning and Development Board outlined the Government of Sindh’s commitment and agenda for addressing poverty. She emphasized the need for integration of schemes as each Department executing its schemes in silos had not delivered the desired results. She said that the Poverty Reduction Strategy is an attempt to bring together all the initiatives under a common framework. She also underlined the importance of developing a string of small urban centres as they aid in more efficient organization of economic activities.

Her Excellency, Ms Androulla Kaminara, Ambassador designate European Union to Pakistan in her remarks commended the government’s approach of using advanced data techniques in their planning and appreciated the government’s Poverty Reduction Strategy. She said that EU has a 7-year budget cycle and this is a good time to assess the progress to date and plan for the future. She said that EU will continue to be a development partner for Sindh and that more funds could be available for the next cycle for development needs. She said that she had earlier visited Tando Mohammed Khan and was impressed by the mobilization of women.

Dr. Kaiser Bengali, member of the EU TA team, in his presentation took the audience through the diagnostic research that was carried out to develop Rural Growth Centers (RGCs) and Urban Enterprise Clusters as primary vehicles for poverty reduction. He explained that poverty reduction requires a range of measures to address rural and urban poverty differentially and requires combined Government & Community-based actions. He said that the strategy has been prepared in broad consultations with government officials, members of academia, business representatives, and community activists. GIS technology has been used to identify clusters of villages in close proximity and a village within identified as a growth centre, where social and economic infrastructure will be consolidated. He said that five districts have been approved for piloting the strategy and to this end Sujawal, Thatta, Badin, Tharparkar and Larkana have been identified. Work in Sujawal is in an advanced preparatory stage.

 The event was attended among others by Mr. Muhammad Nawaz Shaikh, Secretary Social Welfare Department, Mr. Saeed Ahmed Awan Secretary, Health Department, Ms. Alia Shahid Secretary Women Development Department, Dr. Niaz Ali Abbasi Secretary Public Heath Engineering & Rural Development Department, Mr. Aijaz Ahmed Mahesar Secretary Livestock & Fisheries Department and Mr. Yasir Jan Baloch, Secretary (Planning), Planning & Development Department. The attendees also included Mr. Iftekhar Ali Shalwani, Commissioner Karachi, Mr. M. Abbas Baloch, Commissioner Hyderabad, Mr. Shafique Ahmed Mahesar Commissioner Larkana Divisions along with Deputy Commissioners from Thatta, Badin, Sujawal, Larkana, Tharparkar districts. The Members of Planning & Development Board and Director Generals of Research & Training Wing and Monitoring & Evaluation Cell, P&D Department also marked their presence.