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In 2015, Pakistan was at the forefront of setting a new global agenda – the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Through Agenda 2030, Pakistan and other nations committed to building a more prosperous and equitable world, with sustainable development benefiting all. In February 2016, Pakistan’s National Assembly marked the country’s commitment to this ambitious agenda, endorsing the SDGs as national development goals.
Kausar is the elder of two daughters born in the small village of Hasomat Serian in Mansehra district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province, Pakistan. In this highly conservative region, many girls are denied the opportunity to receive an education, let alone to embark upon a career. Kausar did both. Today, she is the only woman from her village with an education, and is now working as its first police officer, a constable.
She attributes this ground-breaking career path to her parents’ support. “Behind every successful daughter there is a father,” she says. “Nothing was possible without the help of my father, who encouraged me to get the job of my choice.”
Constable Khan comes from Swabi, a district in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province where strong cultural mores prevent women from working outside the home. Khan broke from this longstanding tradition and joined the KP police force in 2008.
It took many hours of argument to persuade her father. However Khan was supported by her eldest uncle who recognized that times were changing, and convinced her father to change his mind. Khan’s father eventually became her strongest supporter.
Manthaar Ali’s family are ethnic Sindhis who have lived in the violent Korangi neighbourhood of Karachi for generations. Over the years, they have seen the transformation of this area from a sleepy mangrove-lined village by the Arabian Sea to one of the world’s largest and fastest growing cities. Yet, even as millions came to Karachi looking for a better life, Manthaar’s family was left behind. His father is a night watchman in a fishing community, while his elder brother is a dockworker who works on daily wages and often goes weeks without work.
A United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) initiative - Strengthening the Governance of Climate Change Finance programme - and the Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) have held workshops in Karachi and Lahore to intensively build media skills on reporting on climate change and climate finance in Pakistan. At the workshops, a CPNE and UNDP handbook, Climate Smart Reporting: A Handbook for Journalists, was also launched.
Any day with food on the table was a good day for Humera and her family of five. The daughter of a rickshaw driver in Korangi, an impoverished neighbourhood in Pakistan’s largest city Karachi, Humera, 20, had a tough childhood. Her father was the only breadwinner and struggled to support his family. “If we paid the rent, we couldn’t buy food. If we bought food, we couldn’t buy clothes. How could we expect to complete our education?” she says.
For the past quarter century, development initiatives have been framed around the belief that the wealth of a nation is not exclusively measured through economic indicators, but through the wellbeing of its people. Instead of promoting economic growth alone, human development enhances human abilities: health, knowledge and a decent standard of living. It entails creating the conditions in which all people can flourish: human rights and security, environmental sustainability, gender equality, and participation in political and community life.
Millions of Pakistanis depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. With almost 80 percent of the country’s area consisting of arid or semi-arid land, however, much of Pakistan’s agricultural land is vulnerable to desertification - the process by which arable land becomes desert due to drought, deforestation, inappropriate agricultural practices, the effects of climate change, or a combination of all of these. As Pakistan’s population grows and the effects of climate change take hold, desertification has become a major source of concern for the country’s fragile ecosystem.
Uzaira Tasneem is completing her bachelor’s degree from the University of Education, Lahore. True to her name, when she heard about the UN Volunteers programme, she decided to apply. “I always aspired to become a volunteer because it would get me closer to the community and the people,” she says.
The son of a rickshaw driver and one of eight children, Burhan began to work as a small child to help support the family. Although only 22 years of age, he has worked in Karachi’s oldest wholesale emporium, Boulton Market, as a daily wage labourer, administered vaccine drops to infants as part of the country’s polio eradication campaigns, and conducted quality assurance at a pharmaceutical company. Lacking education and belonging to a marginalized community, he was unable to turn any of these jobs into a career.
In the Punjab Government’s White Paper Budget 2017-2018 published in June 2017, the Government recognizes the importance of increasing development allocations to less developed districts, which have been most lagging behind in the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) in the Province, in order to achieve the SDGs. In the Annual Development Programme 2017-2018, priorities have been given to the schemes that ensures the better performance of Punjab against key SDG indicators. The White Paper also notes that the proper stock taking exercises and a robust monitoring mechanism will further propagate the achievement of SDGs in the Province.
Ms. Maimoona Akhtar, a student of Journalism and Mass Communications from the University of Peshawar was apprehensive about choosing print or electronic media as a career because her family considered it an ‘inappropriate’ field for young women. This severely limited her professional choices, especially in fields that were relevant to her degree in Mass Communications. After graduation, Maimoona was selected as an intern with UNDP’s VPPD initiative at IPCS under the Platform’s capacity development component for graduate students.
Umarkot was known for the fact that more than 80 percent of its rural population practiced open defecation, exacerbating water-borne diseases like diarrhoea. This meant families were spending abnormally large amounts of money on medication.
Amelia is a certified volunteer community-based paralegal associated with the Community Development Programme (CDP) in Bannu, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and a bachelor’s student at the Kohat University of Science and Technology.
The Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) Transition and Recovery Programme (FTRP) is based on an iterative and solution-driven approach to addressing the issues faced by displaced people. Economic revitalization is a major focus and the Programme has completed numerous vocational and business management trainings to help returnees. One such training was in hospitality management and was organized by the Hashoo Foundation and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Its primary purpose was to develop demand-oriented skills in hotel management and create job opportunities for FATA’s youth.
UNDP and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) Secretariat partnered with the Technology Upgradation and Skill Development Company (TUSDEC) to help FATA returnees rebuild their livelihoods and increase their chances of obtaining employment. Using financial support from the governments of the United Kingdom and Japan, this initiative successfully imparted demand-oriented vocational skills to 625 youth—300 women, 325 men—in Bara, Khyber Agency. The three-month training was arranged locally and took place at the Dogra Technical Training Centre in Bara.
UNDP and its government partners, the KP Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) and Provincial Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Settlement Authority (PaRRSA), KP initiated the restoration and rehabilitation of damaged community infrastructure with US$ 11.67 million from the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD). The project aimed to empower communities by enabling them to participate in the identification of schemes and monitoring of reconstruction work.
In my village, after the father grows old, the eldest brother is responsible for providing financial support to the family,” says Samiullah Khan, a young man aged 23 living in Haibak Sherza Khan village, Bannu district, in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
After experiencing devastation from the military operations of 2009, swiftly followed by floods in 2010, the village of Shin in Swat district, Pakistan received little assistance to help rebuild its infrastructure. The small settlement faced a number of problems, such as the poor condition of the link road which led to poor school attendance, difficulty in transporting farm produce to markets, and taking patients to hospital.
Shahnaz, a 32-year-old widow and her family of seven are among thousands of internally displaced person (IDP) families who lost their house, possessions and livelihoods upon their return to Bara, Khyber Agency in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).
UNDP Pakistan hosted a Social Good Summit on 22 September 2016 in Islamabad. The one-day panel discussion was part of a larger global event held annually during United Nations General Assembly week. The flagship event took place in New York during the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly and over 100 country offices followed suit with their own summits.
A dynamic panel of young social activists, entrepreneurs, young parliamentarians, innovators, and sports enthusiasts came together to discuss the sustainable development goal (SDG) theme, “What type of world do I want to live in by the year 2030?” The discussion was streamed live on Mashable, a global partner.
The Governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Engineer Iqbal Zafar Jhagra inaugurated the FATA Development Authority’s (FATA-DA) Job Placement Centre (JPC) for youth in Hayatabad, Peshawar on 26 October 2016.
The FATA Secretariat, UNDP Pakistan and WFP Pakistan implemented a community-based livelihoods recovery project in Bara, Khyber Agency as part of the implementation of the FATA Sustainable Return and Rehabilitation Strategy. One of its key features was a cash card distribution programme.
The Youth Employment Project at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Pakistan signed a partnership with the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) to provide entrepreneurial skills training to youth in the neighbourhoods of Lyari, Korangi and Sultanabad in Karachi. These youth do not usually possess the skills to earn livelihoods given their limited education and means. UNDP is therefore providing garment manufacturing skills to help them find work in garment-related trades, although the majority of young women and men continue to struggle to find employment. SMEDA and UNDP are responding to this challenge by helping young people become self-employed.