Novel coronavirus pandemic has pushed millions into poverty : speakers

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Sargodha: International experts identified lack of coordination between government and private sector, capacity to deliver, absence of authentic data, skilled human resource and scarcity of funds as the key challenges for achieving the SDG 1 ‘No Poverty’ at its required pace.

Novel coronavirus pandemic has pushed millions into poverty and its impact on workers and poorer people is also stark. Government can help create and enabling environment to generate productive employment and job opportunities for the poor and the marginalized they can formulate Strategies and fiscal policies that stimulate pro-poor growth and reduce poverty.

The deliberation were made by the international economic experts, who got together for a webinar titled “No Poverty: Why it Matters” on Tuesday. The webinar organized by the Sargodha University’s Economics Department was moderated by Miss Mariam Ikram, lecturer Communication and Media Studies.

The experts stressed on academic and education community to play major role in increasing the awareness about the impact of poverty at grassroots level, fiscal devolution, collaboration and coordination among stakeholders and partners to pace up progress for achieving SDG 1 ‘to end poverty in all its forms everywhere by 2030.’

Addressing the webinar, Dr Christian Oldiges Director of Policy, Oxford Poverty and Human Development initiative (OPHI) UK shared the targets and methodology to achieve the goal ‘Reduction in Poverty’ and stated the facts of how 1.3 billion people are multidimensional poor according to Global MPIs. Pakistan’s 38.3% of people are MPI poor and each person is on average deprived in over half of the dimensions (51.7%). He also highlighted how the absolute deprivations in nutrition, education, housing, and cooking fuel contribute most to the poverty in Pakistan.

Dr Sohail Jehangir Malik President Innovative Development Strategies, USA said “poverty is a critical factor which is impacting the lives of people. The traditional growth strategy of Pakistan is in-effective and one policy fit in all does not work. There is a need of inclusive growth, improving human capital, and creating employment within the reach of poor people. Youth should bring into a framework by setting up alternative programs to strengthen the linkages and build local capacity.”

Appreciating the government efforts, Dr Mohammad Ali Kemal Economic Policy Advisor SDGs Support Unit Ministry of Planning Development and Reforms Pakistan said that the ‘Ehsaas program’ is aimed to create a welfare state with the objective to reduce inequality, invest in people, and lift lagging districts. “Resources should be devolved to the lowest rung of society to decline inequalities, promote equity and inclusive approach. Public, private, social, and civic society should work together for eradication of poverty” he added.