By Dr.Abdul Razzak Shaikh,
The meeting regarding the Union Council Based Poverty Reduction Programm (UCBPRP) held in the first week of October under the Chair of Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah and decided to raise more 6 districts under this project. Four Billion were also sanctioned for these Districts and now total 16 districts having the budget is 14.2 billion. The new 4 districts Ghotki, Sukkur, BenazirAbad, Nausheroferoz, Hyderabad and Karachi have 228 rural union councils of the area. This program already working in 10 Districts of the Province.
The Union Council Based Poverty Reduction Programme (UCBPRP) is a pioneering initiative of the Sindh Rural Support Organization (SRSO) and the Government of Sindh (GoS), for reducing poverty through the potential of the people. The Union Council Based Poverty Reduction Programme (UCBPRP) was initiated on the 1st of February 2009 in two districts of Sindh, namely Kashmore-Kandhkot and Shikarpur, with a total budget of Rs. 3 billion. The duration of the project was 30 months and is being implemented by SRSO.
The specific Objective is to build up the capacity of the deprived population, living in rural areas through social mobilization to empower the local communities paying particular attention to women in both socially and economically. Improve their livelihoods and increase their incomes through Income generating grants and Community Investment Funds (CIF) i.e. interest-free loans.
In March 2010 after successfully completing its first year this project has been extended to two more districts namely Jacobabad and Tharparker by the Government of Sindh and is being implemented by Sindh Rural Support programs.
As a result of this program, the European Union (EU) in collaboration with Government of Sindh, is implementing Sindh Union Council and Community Economic Strengthening Support (SUCCESS) for six years (2015-2021) with a funding of 82 million Euros for expansion of UCBPRP to additional 08 districts of Sindh i.e. Matiari, Sujawal, Tando Allahyar, Tando Muhammad Khan, Qamber – Shahdadkot, Larkana, Dadu, being implemented by three Rural Support Programs (SRSO, NRSP & TRDP) present in Sindh.
After successful completion of the First Phase, expansion phase of UCBPRP (Union Council Based Poverty Reduction Programme) has been commenced in additional 06 districts of the Sindh Province; Khairpur, Sanghar, Umer Kot, Mirpur Khas, Thatta and Badin with the total cost of Rs. 4.9 billion. The project will be completed in 36 months.
UCBPRP is based on the Rural Support Programmers’ (RSPs) social mobilization approach to Community Driven Development (CDD). Social Mobilization centers around the belief that poor people have an innate potential to help themselves; that they can better manage their limited resources if they organize and are provided technical and financial support. The SRSO under the UCBPRP provide social guidance, technical and financial assistance to the rural poor in Sindh and enables them to build productive assets, reduce vulnerabilities and improve by and large, the condition of their village or locality.
The project will also help improve social indicators relating to health, environment and education, especially for women and children. The project will also prepare the communities to make use of microfinance for their livelihoods and creation of assets, which are the main reasons behind poverty in rural areas.
UCBPRP is the hallmark of the performance of Sindh Government in terms of service delivery to the poorest rural population through Social Mobilization and Income Generation.
PPP Government under Prime Minister of Pakistan Yousif Raza Gillani Launched BENAZIR BHUTTO INCOME SUPPORT PROGRAMM in July 2008 to tribute Shaheed Mohtarmma Benazir Bhutto, who was assassinated in 2007 and program is successfully on a way. Latter on PML-N government headed by Nawaz Sharif has also continued same. BISP is widely Supported by International Organizations also and PTI government the same way to continue.
PPP government in Sindh no doubt is keen to interest the poor people of the province and wants to reduce poverty.
There might be accusations of corruption and political favoritism and suggested that impact evaluations should be conducted to evaluate the benefits and actual need for the program. If PPP government Succeed to proper implement the Union Council Based Poverty Reduction Programm (UCBPRP) than the manifesto of the party will be counted as a result oriented.
By Dr.Abdul Razzak Shaikh,