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Pakistan, UNDP, ILO launch poverty reduction project

ISLAMABAD (November 24 2002) : Pakistan, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and International Labour Organisation (ILO) have launched a joint Project “Poverty Reduction through Employment Promotion and Better Distribution of Income” with an initial fund of $160,000 here on Saturday.

Under this project UNDP will assist Government of Pakistan in analysing the progress of Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) in the context of employment and human development in relations to poverty reduction. PRSP is currently on initial stage and is likely to be completed by early 2003. A permanent evaluation of poverty reduction will be conduced under PRSP.

This project has been funded mainly by UNDP, while ILO will co-fund certain component. Initially UNDP has established a fund of $160,000 to explore the methods of employment generation and causes of poverty reduction.

Speaking at the occasion Secretary Planning Commission Dr Mutawakkil Kazi said that the project will help build capacity here to alleviate poverty and generate employment to accommodate frustrated educated youngsters.

“We will be able to create new qualitative jobs and meet the challenges through decent ways after this joint venture,” he added.

“Unemployment and menace of poverty is major threat to Pakistan's economy and the project will technically strengthen Planning Commission for employment generation (in this project),” Kazi pointed out.

Kazi also said that the main causes of unemployment are frequent political changes, scientific discoveries reducing labour use and world-wide economic recession lingering for past few years.

The UN System in Pakistan has nominated ILO as executing agency to ensure the employment creation. The project will identify the causes of gender discrimination in the labour market and formulate policy measures to reduce unemployment.

Onder Yucer Country Representative of UNDP said that the employment generation is very critical for the development of the nations and the project aims at promoting growth and better distribution of income.

The UNDP and ILO are making modest attempts to build the capacity of the Centre for Research on Poverty Reduction and Income Distribution (CRPRID) based in the Planning Division, he added.

He maintained that the collaboration among UNDP and other agencies is very much necessary to tackle multi-dimensional problems such as poverty reduction and human development. ILO Director in Pakistan, Jhonnnes Nikkolo addressing the media men said a distinctive feature of the project is to identify measures of employment generation for women.

The CRPRID will specifically look into the housing sectors, Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs), employment intensive public concerns, infrastructure and employment intensive-export.

The project will study the impact of the existing programmes like Poverty Alleviation Fund, Khushhal Pakistan Programme (KPP) and the First Women Bank on employment generation.

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