The Coronavirus outbreak not only burdened the provincial health care system but also had a lasting impact on livelihoods. It was at this critical juncture that the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) collaborated with the KP’s Planning and Development Department (P&DD). The joint efforts were translated into a post-crisis economic recovery plan “Azm-e-Nau”.
UNDP and P&DD have moved swiftly to ward off the economic and employment repercussions of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Under “Azm-e-Nau”, the economic recovery will be ensured in a three-dimensional manner; creating short-term jobs, medium-term service delivery, and long-term developmental outputs.
These objectives will be pursued through 43 major interventions in nine key sectors to boost the economy in the short term and provide societal benefits in the long term.
The Rs 29 billion economic recovery plan spans over three years (2020-2023). The nine key sectors, referred to as “pillars” in the plan include economic growth, education, emergency response, governance, health, jobs for development, social protection, small and medium enterprises, and public works.
At this point, the funding mechanism of the recovery plan is quite flexible. The allocated amount of Azm-e-Nau is not fixed under the Provincial Government's Annual Development Programme (ADP) because the Provincial and the Merged Areas Annual Development Programs had already been finalized. The P&DD is considering taking on board development partners and donor agencies for financial and technical assistance on some of the interventions. Azm-e-Nau entails a comprehensive plan by the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa which would also provide a framework to handle future emergencies of such scale in the province including the Merged Areas. Meanwhile, it has enabled the government to pinpoint the priority areas of focus for the allocations of public funds and dialogue with donor agencies.
“ I am hopeful than ever that under the capable leadership governing the province, the tireless efforts of the district authorities, the valuable assistance of our development partners, and the absolute resolve of our citizens, we will be able to put the economy of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa back on track”, says Mahmood Khan, Kyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister.