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January 14, 2021

Foreign investors spend Rs16bln on CSR in 2019-20

Business

January 14, 2021

KARACHI: Foreign investors have spent Rs16 billion in Pakistan on corporate social responsibility programmes during 2019-2020, Overseas Investors Chambers of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) report showed.

The annual CSR Report 2019-2020 showed that about half of OICCI members invested about Rs8 billion collectively on CSR-related activities, excluding the amount spent on Covid-19. The members reached out to around 62 million direct beneficiaries throughout Pakistan, OICCI statement said.

In addition to monetary contributions, the CSR activities of OICCI members included investment of their employees’ time in different value-adding social activities across Pakistan with the underlying commitment to uplift the underprivileged strata of the society during these trying times.

About 100 of the leading foreign investors actively participated in support of the government’s effort to fight the pandemic.

OICCI President Haroon Rashid said there has been a noticeable increase in sustainable CSR activities over the last few years. “OICCI members have adopted the best CSR and sustainability practices, largely in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) to meet the growing needs of the society.”

OICCI members and their employees spent around 1.5 million man-hours and partnered with 160 social and development sector organisations in fulfilling their unique CSR programmes.

The reach of the CSR activities touched all provinces and the geographic distribution was 29 percent in Sindh, 26 percent in Punjab, 14 percent in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 12 percent in Baluchistan, 6 percent in FATA, and 8 percent each in Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir.

In terms of specific UN SDGs, 79 percent of the OICCI members focused on (i) Health and Well-Being and (ii) Quality Education, especially new primary and secondary school facilities and vocational training programmes for skills development.

Many of the members also actively supported health and nutrition related initiatives through donations to reputable hospitals, medical care camps and health awareness campaigns.

OICCI in its statement highlighted that the March 2020 pandemic challenge to OICCI members, and their stakeholders, was enormous and was still continuing. However, due to international outreach of OICCI members, they led from the front and shared the best practices for protecting the health and wellbeing of their employees, business partners and other stakeholders. None of the OICCI members laid off their workers due to slow down in the business activity at the outbreak of the pandemic. Most of the OICCI members positively responded to the government of Pakistan’s call for support in containing the spread of the pandemic, protecting the health and supporting economic needs of the underprivileged populace, and contributed about Rs7.8 billion to various pandemic-focused containment causes.

It is pertinent to mention that 63 percent of the members were focused on Gender Equality in support of ‘OICCI Women’ initiative which has been gaining momentum since its launch in 2017.

OICCI Secretary General Abdul Aleem said, “We believe the OICCI Women initiative could become a motivating factor for other businesses in Pakistan to raise the level of women participation, thereby contributing towards a rapid economic growth of the country.”

OICCI CSR Report 2019-2020 detailed the contributions of the member companies, working across the country in diverse social sectors.

OICCI is the collective body of top 200 foreign investors in Pakistan, belonging to 35 countries.