Launch of a 5-year mega project for the recovery of 20 poorest districts

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ISLAMABAD – The Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives has launched a 5-year project (2022-27) comprising special development initiatives for the twenty poorest districts of Pakistan.

The estimated cost of this project is Rs 40 billion (on a 50/50 cost sharing basis between the federal and provincial governments). The project has been approved by the Central Development Working Group (CDWP). Identified based on the scores of this GPI, the 20 selected districts include 11 districts from Balochistan, 5 from Sindh, 3 from KKhyber-Pakhtunkhwa and 1 from Punjab. Many of these districts have been affected by the recent disastrous floods, especially in Balochistan and Sindh. The main objective of this project is to promote inclusive growth and equitable development through targeted investments in infrastructure and human capital development in the poorest districts of the country. Investments in the development of human capital, especially youth and women, are among the main pillars of the project.

Aligned with Pakistan Vision 2025 and the Global Agenda for Sustainable Development 2030, the project aims to make a significant contribution to reducing regional inequalities and enhancing national integration and harmony in the country.

“This is the first such project in Pakistan’s economic history where the Federal Government is undertaking nationwide intervention to uplift the poorest districts and address disparities in economic development in the country,” Prof Ahsan said. Iqbal, Minister of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, while chairing the meeting.

“During our last term, we carried out the Multidimensional Poverty Index Survey with the assistance of the United Nations Development Programme, which for the first time mapped poverty at the district level across the country,” he added. The project is part of the youth development program launched by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif last month. Other initiatives under this program include 2,000 Young Engineers Internships, 250 Mini Sports Complex Initiatives, Pakistan Innovation Fund and 75 National Top Talent Scholarships.

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