Human development key to growth, says CM to World Bank mission

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KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said on Friday that human development is the key to accelerate growth in the economy.

This he said while talking to the World Bank (WB) Mission which was visiting Sindh from Feb 19 to 23, 2018 to explore the options for improving population outcomes in the province.

The mission was led by WB Washington’s Lead Health Specialist and Team Leader Sameera Maziad Al Tuwaijri. Other members of the mission included Program Leader Cristine Isabel Panasco Santo, Senior Operations office Naoko Ohno, Senior Health Specialist Tayyeb Masud, Senior Economist Shakil Ahmed, Senior Social Protection Specialist Sohail Abbasi, Deputy Country Director Sarah Masale, United Nations Population Fund (UNPF), USAID representatives Shabir Chandio and Dileep Kumar, Technical Advisor Talib Lashari and a representative of Population Welfare Department (PWD)who was also the focal point of the mission on behalf of Sindh government.

The Mission held a concluding meeting with Sindh chief minister at CM House. They appreciated the high-level political commitments in Sindh for human development especially in terms of implementing Pakistan’s international commitments on Family Planning (FP) 2020.

The Mission also noted that Sindh is the first province to develop the Costed Implementation Plan (CIP) to achieve the goals of FP 2020. In this regard, Sindh will increase its Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (CPR) from 30 percent in 2015 to 45 percent in 2020. Besides that, PWD has developed the Population Policy.

In the meeting, it was emphasized that in order to achieve an accelerated growth of the economy, birth spacing, girls’ education, youth involvement and women empowerment are the critical areas.

The Mission presented policy options for an accelerated progress including family planning. The recommendations included institutional reforms in short term, medium term and long term.

The Mission appreciated the work of Sindh FP 2020 Working Group (or Task Force) and recommended that such a multi-sectoral forum may be further strengthened to address the issues of women empowerment, gender equalities, social determinants to health and stream-lining the service delivery.

The recommendations also included implementation mechanisms, monitoring and evaluating the financing of new interventions.

Earlier, the WB Mission had held meetings with Member National Assembly and Chair Sindh FP-2020 Working Group Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho, Provisional Technical Coordinator Shahnaz Wazir Ali, Oversight Cell’s representative Miss Shireeri Narejo, Secretary Planning and Development, Dr Fazlullah Pechuho, Secretary Health Mr Laeeq Ahmed, PWD Secretary Dr Shahab Qamar, Finance Special Secretary Special Secretary to the Chief Minister Raheem Shaikh,. The Mission also visited Aga Khan University and offices of some Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs)  to assess their role in population sector.