Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Sania Nishtar
File Photo

ISLAMABAD, Oct 18 (APP): Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Sania Nishtar represented Pakistan at an online event, ‘End Poverty Day 2020: Surmounting Setbacks’ during the Annual Meetings arranged by the World Bank Group to highlight current challenges to poverty reduction and the urgency of redoubling our efforts to end poverty.

The event focused on a fast, broad-based response to COVID-19 to help developing countries strengthen their pandemic response and health care systems.

Along with Dr. Sania Nishtar, the team of distinguished panellists included World Bank Managing Director for Operations Axel van Trotsenburg; Strive Masiyiwa, African Union Special Envoy to mobilize the private sector response to COVID; CSO leaders from FCV countries- Lamis Al-Iryani from Yemen and Orzala Nemat from Afghanistan; Dominic Raab, UK Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs; Sarah Colenbrander, Director of ODI’s Climate and Sustainability program and Saleemul Huq, Director of the International Centre for Climate Change and Development, Bangladesh; and Ngwashi Christabel Apholung from Cameroon. The session was moderated by Larry Madowo of the BBC.

Bringing the perspective of Pakistan to the table, SAPM Dr. Nishtar said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has shown like never before how critical health is to the security of each country. COVID-19 has threatened livelihoods and undermined food security.

Ultimately decades of progress have been lost which reinforces the need to build resilient poverty alleviation strategies that tackle multi-dimensional poverty.

With 134 policies, Ehsaas does that, which has helped us respond effectively to both the health and poverty aspects of the pandemic.”

She said, “After the outbreak of pandemic, the government in Pakistan has been extremely responsive working across all ministries to ensure a one government approach to health, poverty alleviation and ensuring an economic recovery that works for everyone.”

At the poverty event, the team of distinguished panellists seized the opportunity to accelerate action towards the goal of a resilient recovery post-COVID-19.

The wide-ranging discussions explored the obstacles to poverty reduction, including conflict and climate change, and focus on the path ahead for developing countries, emphasizing the urgent need for both the public and private sectors to initiate a long-term approach to the recovery.

All distinguished panellists underscored the need for collective action to ensure years of progress in poverty reduction are not erased, and that efforts to confront poverty caused by COVID-19 also confront threats that disproportionally impact the world’s poor at the same time – like conflict and climate change.

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