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Asians: speakers underline steps for providing livelihood
million poor South Asians: speakers underline steps for providing
Business Recorder, December 15, 2011
preparation for climatic change, fulfilling Millennium Development
Goals (MDGs) and pro-poor governance is the only way forward to
provide comfortable livelihood along with food security to 600
million poor in South Asia.
the gist of presentations at the second day of 14th Sustainable
Development Conference (SDC) 'Re-defining Paradigms of Sustainable
Development in South Asia' organised by Sustainable Development
Policy Institute (SDPI).
Participating in the discussion on 'climate change concerns and
their possible impacts on South Asian countries,' Bipul Chatterjee
of Consumer Unity & Trust Society (CUTS) International, India was of
the view that food insecurity and livelihood threats are mainly due
to the impacts of climate change in South Asia.
for adopting climate resilient measures including low carbon economy
to minimise the impacts of climate change that causes large scale
devastation in the shape of floods due to rising sea level as was
seen in Pakistan in the recent past.
Memon of Strengthening Participatory Organisations said 70 percent
of South Asian population directly or indirectly depends on
agriculture, for which for regional co-operation and information
sharing is vital to avert such natural disasters.
session on 'factors affecting the food security situation in
resource constrained Pakistan,' the speakers said that availability
of food in markets does not mean that poor people could afford to
Malik of Mehboob-ul-haq Human Development Centre said that low
purchasing power and insufficient storage capacity in Pakistan along
with less expenditure were the major roadblocks impeding access to
food, not the agricultural production.
panel on 'Development Beyond MDGs,' Dr Saba Gul Khattak of SDPI
flayed lack of focus on women empowerment.
participant from Germany, Afshan Ahmad, stressed the need for
ownership of MDGs to provide better health, education and other
social services to poor segment of the society.
is one of major causes in off tracking MDGs in Pakistan, she added.
Taylor from Canada highlighted room for improvement in quality of
policy-making processes in South Asia, saying that research and
development are interlinked as without reliable basic data, no
policy could bear the desired fruit.
Sharma of Khatmandu University, Nepal said that role of non-state
actors was much vital from achieving MDGs in an effective manner.
Raj Upreti, Nepal said that every country needs to redefine MDGs
according to its felt needs as conflict in some parts of the globe
has changed the socio-economic paradigm altogether.
session on 'governance challenge: It there a way out?' the speakers
said the governance constraints have to be seen in political and
military institutions perspectives.
Hussain, former central bank governor, said that only those
institutions should be focused upon for governance reforms, which
have high pay off, spillovers and linkages to other services that
could benefit the country as a whole.
Akbar Zaidi said the foreign aid should be stopped as both military
and political elites have mismanaged it.
been observed that about 42 percent of foreign aid was spent on
Sadiq Khan of SDPI, said laws violation is noticed only when it is
done by the weak and less resourceful sections of society while
violation by elites remains unnoticed.
session on revisiting poverty debate: alternative ways for
conceptualisation, measurement and targeting', Arif Naveed of SDPI,
sharing district level poverty analysis, said 18 out of 20 poorest
districts in Pakistan are in Balochistan and 20 least poor districts
are in Southern Punjab.
Ahmed of SDPI and economist Dr Sajjad Akhter were of the view that
the issue of poverty should not be politicised and institutions such
as Federal Bureau of Statistics and Planning Commission should work
as autonomous bodies.
Alkair of University Oxford said there is a need of diversified and
quality data collection for rigorous analysis of poverty.
the session on 'security and development: the geo-politics of
China-Pakistan-India relationship" the speakers said bilateral
relationships among the three countries primarily revolve around
their national security interests, ignoring human development.
Hasil Bizenjo lamented the persistence of conflicts and their
negative implications on the population as whole which distort the
economic indicators of a country undergoing development process.
at a Policy forum on 'Education Financing in Pakistan: Challenges
and way forward' demanded substantial increase in budget allocation
for education from current meagre figure of 2% to 6% of the fiscal
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