KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Friday approved Rs4 billion Peoples Poverty Reduction Programme (PPRP) in six district, whereas a similar programme was already in progress in 10 districts.
Murad Ali Shah said that the programme would be launched in 288 union councils of six districts of the province.
The districts include Ghotki, Sukkur, Naushehroferoze, Benazirabad and rural Union Councils of Karachi and Hyderabad.
“The provincial government has already launched Union Council Based Poverty Reduction Programme (UCBPRP) of Rs3.36 billion with specific objectives to reduce poverty, improve quality of life of the poor and marginalized communities through social mobilization, capacity development, asset creation and income generation,” he said while presiding over a meeting here at CM House.
Chairman P&D Mohammad Waseem, Principal Secretary to CM Sajjid Jamal Abro, Chairman Sindh Rural Support Organisation (SRSO) Shoaib Sultan Khan, CEO SRSO Dittal Kalhoro and other concerned officers were also present on this occasion.
Shah said that with the start of Rs4 billion PPRP in six districts, the government intervention for poverty reduction would spread over 16 districts with an investment of Rs14.2 billion. “This would definitely develop a good impact in the rural areas,” he said.
He said that the UCBPRP was a symbol of the performance of provincial government in terms of service delivery to the poorest rural population through social mobilization to empower the local communities by socially and economically enabling them to improve their livelihood and increase their earnings through Income Generating Grants (IGG) and Community Fund as was being given as an interest free loan under union council based poverty reduction programme.
The CM termed UCBPRP a unique first and foremost project which focused on women empowerment and uplift of livelihood of poorest households, identified through a scientific survey. Second, the programme was the first major project of the Sindh government that was being implemented through community participation. Thirdly, the programme was highly intensive in its development package and coverage and was concentrated at union council level.
A hall mark of the programme was the development through social mobilization which provided a great opportunity to the rural skilled women to produce and showcase their products by accessing the larger market in mega cities like Karachi, the chief minister said and added it was the first time that these ladies had had an opportunity to present and sell their products themselves without involving the middlemen.
“This on the one hand gives them the confidence in their ability and direct exposure of the market and on the other enables them to become economically better off and independent,” he said.
The chief minister said that the programme not only focused on social sector improvement by directly addressing the indicators of health, poverty, environment, social security, shelter, employment and basic livelihood but also helped in achieving the objective and targets of universally accepted Sustainable Development Goals- of which Pakistan was a signatory.
Mohammad Wasem briefing the meeting about the UCBPRP said that it achieved great success in four districts, Shikarpur, Kashmore, Jacoabad and Tharparkar. This included universal coverage of 175 union councils, organistions of 343,084 households at community and village level, giving of income generation grants and interest free loans to 10,043 and 112,406 households respectively.
He said that under the programme 9,072 low cost housing units were provided to shelter less families, 1,124 households were given water supply schemes, 34,211 persons were imparted vocational training, 114,328 households have been provided protection of micro health insurance plan, 195 schools were made functional and 43 small villages were rehabilitated.
Waseem said that considering the success of the programme, the chief minister further expanded the programme to six districts, Umerkot, Sanghar, Mirpurkhas, Kahirpur, Badin and Thatta for Rs4.916 billion in 2017. This scheme is being implemented through Sindh Rural Support Oerganistaion (SRSO) led by Shoaib Sultan Khan.
The EU has also launched a similar programme named `Sindh Union Council and Community Economic Strengthening Support’ (SUCCESS) targeting reduction of poverty and enhancement of livelihoods in eight more districts by investing Rs8 billion.