By Dr.Abdul Razzak Shaikh,
It is time the federal and Sindh governments put their heads together and draw up a long-term Thar development plan. Though I am agreed that Sindh Government is using full efforts to improve the living slandered, health facilities and to enhance the support for controlling the malnutrition in a community and Anti-natal care to decrease the ratio of infant mortality.
In Sindh, BISP is real Victory of PPP in general election. Sindh government already announced that the royalty of Thar coal will be utilized over the people of Thar and development will be done through the whole district to reduce the poverty of area and to cover up the Malnutrition will be the priority of PPP government in the province.
The Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) and the United Nations World Food Programme, Pakistan (WFP) supported by Australian Government, have launched an initiative last Saturday to alleviate the food insecurity and associated vulnerabilities of 428,400 drought victims in Tharparkar district of Sindh Province.
The launching ceremony was held on at Benazir Cultural Complex Mithi. BISP and WFP representative sign the MoU, this initiative will provide humanitarian cash transfers to address household food deficits that have arisen as a result of failed crops and reduced the productivity of livestock. The intervention is part of the on-going efforts to strengthen the shock-responsive capacities of BISP, Pakistan’s largest safety net.
As an immediate food consumption support, WFP will supplement BISP’s unconditional cash transfers with a humanitarian top-up of PKR 1,000 each for eligible households. A total of 63,000 poorest of poor families in Tharparkar will receive a humanitarian top-up alongside BISP’s UCT programme’s routine monthly cash-transfer of RS 1650/- Secretary BISP, told the partnership as Highly value, to address the growing issue of stunted growth and malnutrition in Pakistan, and also emphasized the initiative’s alignment with Federal Government priority list.
BISP and WFP will maintain close coordination with the local authorities to ensure that the local markets remain responsive to the needs of affected populations and the injection of additional cash does not result in an unprecedented surge in the prices of food and other essential items in the locale.
At the ceremony held in Mithi Speaking on, WFP Country Director Finbarr Curran and Representative in Pakistan reiterated his support to assist the most vulnerable communities in the country. Cash-based humanitarian response is one of the most cost-effective means of assisting disaster-affected populations, especially when local markets are responsive. As the largest safety net in the country, BISP presents an excellent platform to empower people to manage their household food and non-food consumption in the times of emergencies. WFP remains committed to strengthening BISP’s capacities to anticipate and respond to such situations in a timely and effective manner. Pakistan is thankful to the Government of Australia for supporting WFP and Government of Pakistan to respond to emergencies and reaching the most vulnerable populations during and after the emergencies
Drought can have devastating consequences for communities particularly those struggling with poverty. The Australian Government supports the Sustainable Development Goal 2 – Zero Hunger and is proud to assist the Government of Sindh in its efforts. Said the Deputy Head of Mission, Australian High Commission Brek Batley and Head of Nutrition, country office WFP.
The total cost of the initiative is set to be USD 0.574 million or PKR 769 million. As per MoU the operational disbursement to the beneficiaries will be done by BISP and the project’s Communication, Monitoring & Evaluation will be managed by WFP.
The Benazir Income Support Programme was established in 2008 by Yousif Raza Gillani who took the advice of President Asif Ali Zardari. The program’s name is a tribute to former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto who was assassinated in December 2007.
Since 2005, the purchasing power of many Pakistani families has been eroded by high inflation and the increasing cost of food and oil. BISP arose against this backdrop as a means to address reductions in purchasing power. Along with the economic development aims of the program, BISP also seeks to empower women by presenting cash transfers directly to female members of households.
BISP is currently the largest aid program in Pakistan and the government’s third-largest budgetary allocation. BISP spending accounts for 3% of Pakistan’s GDP.
This program will definitely help the poor people of Thar and Malnutrition ratio will decrease. The infant mortality has been caused due to Malnutrition of mother during pregnancy and antenatal care is nothing in the very remote area of Thar. As BISP is widely accepted and impressive having easily available to females. Therefore this in cash program of WFP will definitively reach to proper masses of Area.