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September 25, 2020

Saving lives, livelihoods launched to cope with COVID-19 impacts

Islamabad

September 25, 2020

Islamabad : Dr Moeed W Yusuf, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Security & Strategic Policy Planning, kicked off the first meeting of the Advisory Council for the project ‘Saving Lives and Livelihoods by supporting Food Security, Small and Medium Enterprises and Universal Social Protection Mechanisms to cope with COVID-19 Impacts in Pakistan’ here.

The project, which is being jointly undertaken by the International Development Research Centre and Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) aims at supporting the Government of Pakistan in maintaining essential economic activity and protecting workers and smaller producers, in the wake of COVID-19.

Dr Moeed Yusuf, speaking on the occasion, said that this project could feed into real-time data at national and provincial levels which is vital for food security and economic well-being, as both aspects deemed necessary prerequisites for national security by the government.

Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri, Executive Director, SDPI, apprised the committee of the multi-sectoral thematic focus of the project which looks at food security, small to medium enterprises (SMEs), and social protection systems.

Dr Vaqar Ahmed, Joint Executive Director, SDPI, explained the key elements of this project which are documenting evidence on COVID-19’s impact, evidence-based input informing response strategies during relief and recovery phases and strengthening local research.

The importance of all efforts to be underlined by a gender-responsive lens was also highlighted. SDPI’s articulation of linkages between these sectors and their vital role in uplifting the economy, particularly the marginalised segments was lauded by the committee.

The collaborative efforts from various stakeholders at national and provincial levels including Ministry of National Food Security and Research, Ministry of Industries and Productions, SMEDA, BISP, Pir Mehar Ali Shah University of Arid Agriculture, Rawalpindi, and Mian Nawaz Sharif University of Agriculture, Multan, with the coordinating role of National Security Division would ensure the strengthening of evidence-informed government responses.

MNS University of Agriculture Vice-Chancellor Dr Asif Ali said that his team is available to collaborate with SDPI to achieve food security and economic prosperity.