close
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!
June 2, 2020

‘Sustaining livelihoods and enforcing steps against virus growing challenge’

Islamabad

June 2, 2020

Islamabad:The coronavirus pandemic has brought new social, economic and political challenges for Pakistan like many other countries, so it has become increasingly challenging to sustain the livelihoods of millions of people while putting in place effective safety measures against the virus, said adviser to the prime minister on climate change Malik Amin Aslam on Monday.

“A recent assessment indicates that up to 19 million people could be laid off due to the lockdown, bringing extreme challenges for the government to ensure economic survival of the communities. However, our government has very ably utilised the situation to ensure economic sustenance of people and converting the challenge into an opportunity through now what is the world-acclaimed Green Stimulus initiative, which has been approved by the prime minister as part of the government’s efforts for ensuring economic security following the COVID-19 crisis,” he said during the agreement-signing ceremony for the five-year $188 Pakistan Hydromet and Ecosystem Restoration Services project here.

Under the initiative, the World Bank will help strengthen Pakistan’s public sector delivery of reliable and timely hydro-meteorological and disaster risk management services to increase the country’s resilience to natural calamities and climate change and improve water management for agriculture.

The project will be implemented through the National Disaster Risk Management Fund Pakistan, a government-owned company established under Section 42 of the Companies Act, 2017, and managed by the climate change ministry.

The premier’s aide said the government was taking all-out measures for the overall environmental protection through forest regeneration and biodiversity conservation programmes and boosting the country’s climate-resilience through enhanced disaster risk management.

“For the first time, Pakistan has successes to win heft funding of US 188 million for an ambitious five-year project that aims to address environmental degradation, deforestation, climate change-caused disaster risks in the country through nature-based solutions such as increasing forest cover, strengthening hydro-meteorological forecasting for effective delivery of disaster risk management services,” he said.

Malik Amin said the government had converted the pandemic-caused crisis into an opportunity by launching the Green Stimulus Package to support the 10 Billion Tsunami Afforestation Project, which was promoting forestry sector by engaging workforce for raising plantations and other conservation related activities all over the country. He said the Green Economic Stimulus also promoted the Clean and Green Pakistan Movement, which adopted a holistic approach and aims at reducing and alleviating pollution of air, ground and water.

“Due to the success of the government’s green initiatives, Pakistan’s climate change agenda specifically the Green Economic Stimulus as a response to current pandemic has received wide acclaim from global platforms including United Nation secretary general, World Economic Forum, UN Environment and the global Climate Change Convention.

“This timely initiative will bring about long-term economic benefits by diverting political and human resources for conservation of environment besides support in building Pakistan’s resilience to climate change,” he said. The premier’s aide said the Pakistan Hydromet and Climate Change Services Project would strengthen delivery of reliable and timely climate change and hydro-meteorological services and enhance community resilience to shocks, including socio-economic disruptions caused to communities by climate risks, health emergencies, food security and natural disasters.

He said the climate change ministry had already launched the Ecosystems Restoration Initiative, which focused on applying the nature-based solutions to bolster Pakistan’s climate change adaptation and mitigation objectives, while addressing issues like livelihoods and reducing damages from natural disasters.

World Bank country director Illango Patchamuthu said his organisation had been always instrumental in supporting Pakistan for overcoming environmental and climate change related challenges and the new project was the reflection of that commitment. “We hope this new initiative will take Pakistan’s climate-resilience and disaster management capabilities to new height through furtherance of bilateral relations between government of Pakistan and the World Bank,” he said.

Climate change secretary Naheed Shah Durrani said the World Bank-funded project would help boost Pakistan’s climate resilience and make country’s response to the disasters more effectively. “We [ministry] will leave no stone unturned to provide all-out support to the project of unprecedented significance in all possible means for its successful implementation,” he said.

Aviation secretary Hasan Nasir Jami pledged to join the project to improve hydro-meteorological forecasting capabilities and use funding support for investment in meteorological technology-related advancement. Representatives of the National Disaster Management Authority and Pakistan Disaster Risk Management Fund were also in attendance.