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Sindh govt, Jica to spend Rs4.16bn on female HBWs, Jamshoro hospital

By Our Correspondent
February 21, 2020

The Government of Sindh and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) have agreed to launch a project to improve the livelihood and well-being of female home-based workers (HBWs) in the province, and to establish a maternal & child health centre at Jamshoro’s Liaquat University Hospital.

The two projects are expected to cost Rs4.16 billion. Moreover, Jica will also provide technical and engineering solutions to the persistent problem of vehicular traffic congestion across Karachi.

These decisions were taken in a meeting between Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah and Jica President Shinichi Kitaoka on Thursday. The CM said his government had submitted a concept paper of the project for the improvement of the livelihood and well-being of female HBWs.

He said the concept paper was approved in the larger interest of female workers. Therefore, he added, he wanted the project to be approved so that it could be started this year.

The Jica president approved the project to be started this year, with its completion to be in 2023. The overall volume of the project has been estimated to be Rs541.086 million, of which Jica’s share will be Rs435.729 million.

The remaining amount will be utilised by the Sindh government. The project is about improving the livelihood skills and managerial abilities of female HBWs and mainstreaming them in the formal labour market.

Health centre

Another project that came under discussion at the meeting was the establishment of a maternal & child health centre at the Liaquat University Hospital in Jamshoro. The cost of the project will be Rs3.62304 billion.

JICA’s share will come to Rs181.152 million and the rest of the huge amount will be provided by the provincial government. The project was approved in the meeting. It would be started this year and would be completed within two years.

Traffic solutions

The chief executive informed Jica’s high-powered delegation that the issue of traffic congestion across Karachi has been worsening with every passing day. Shah said the widening of roads and the construction of flyovers and underpasses have served very little to resolve the issue.

He also said that the best traffic engineering is the only solution to resolve the issue. Jica’s chief assured the CM that his experts would provide traffic engineering solutions for the city.

He added that his team will survey the roads and conduct a study so that a solid solution could be provided. Planning & Development Chairman Mohammad Waseem will coordinate with Jica to start the survey and study.

The Jica delegation also assured the provincial government of support in urban transport development. The meeting also reviewed the progress of the following Jica-sponsored projects.

Livestock project

The P&D chairman informed the meeting that the project for sustainable livestock development in Sindh’s rural areas was launched in 2013 for Rs910 million, with Rs227.06 million being the provincial government’s share.

The project is aimed at increasing rural farmers’ income and asset in the entire province through increasing milk and meat production. The project will complete by the end of this year.

The meeting was informed that the project was very close to successful completion and it has been able to achieve the intended objectives of increased milk and livestock production.

Children Hospital

With the assistance of Jica, the Sindh government has upgraded the 70-bed Children Hospital in North Karachi to 200 beds. The project was started in 2012 and was completed in 2015 at a cost of Rs1.137061 billion, in which the government’s share was Rs227.061 million.

The P&D chairman informed the meeting that the hospital was functional and providing health care services to the children of the neighbourhood. The visiting team expressed satisfaction on making the project functional.

Schools’ upgrade

The education department had launched a project to upgrade girls’ primary schools to elementary schools in the rural areas of the province for Rs2.07698 billion, in which the Sindh government’s share was Rs409.02 million.

The meeting was told that the project was started in 2013 and completed the same year. Under the project 54 primary schools were upgraded to elementary schools in the northern and southern districts of the province.

Twenty-nine of the schools were upgraded in six southern districts and 25 in northern districts. The CM termed Jica one of the best development partners of the provincial government. Shah presented his shield, Ajraks and Sindhi caps to the guests.

The Jica president was accompanied by Consul General of Japan in Karachi Toshikazu Isomura, Office of President Chief Secretary Hiroo Tanaka, South Asia Department Director General Shone Hara, South Asia Headquarters Director Nobuhiro Kawatani and others.

Shah was assisted by the P&D chairman, CM’s Principal Secretary Sajid Jamal Abro, Finance Secretary Hassan Naqvi, Health Secretary Zahid Abbasi, School Education Secretary Khalid Hyder Shah, the livestock secretary and others.