Pakistan’s progress on SDGs: Need for a national consensus | By Makhdoom Shahab-ud-Din


Pakistan’s progress on SDGs: Need for a national consensus

IN recent times, all economic development within the world has been more or less thwarted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

This also goes the same for the progression of global goals worldwide. The gouge to organizations and economies is gigantic, the brunt of which was felt by developing nations like Pakistan.

However, with the dust of the pandemic now settling down slowly but surely, it is a good time to muse on and gauge the development of Sustainable Development Goals within Pakistan and see whether the progression for the global goals in Pakistan has been a tour de force or a mere failure.

Amidst the pandemic, the public authority in Pakistan did what any government of a developing or third world country would do: let the SDG business deal with itself.

To be reasonable for the rulers, they have been wrestling with the pandemic ever since its mass outbreak and keeping track of all the SDGs during a global pandemic has been somewhat an unsurmountable zenith to conquer.

This led the coronavirus turmoil to not bode well with the overall ranking of the Global SDG index, causing Pakistan to slip from 130 out of 194 countries in 2019 to 134 in 2021.

This might not seem much to casual onlookers, stating that it’s just 4 positions but to better understand the dire predicament of Pakistan, we should realize that Pakistan is the lowest ranked country in the entire South Asian region. Just for context India is ranked 117, Bangladesh is 109, Nepal was positioned 96 and Nepal has been 94.

Although Pakistan is at the 134th position, it doesn’t mean that there hasn’t been any progress made. Currently Pakistan has made a landmark progress of a 56.2% of completion rate for the SDGs. The public authority of Pakistan has vowed to decrease poverty by 6% by the end of 2023.

In addition, the public authority vows to additionally foster social security strategy that line up with SDG 1 and make an information base that will guarantee a better control over poverty.

The PTI government is likewise dedicated to the mitigation of food insecurity and guarantees that vulnerable groups like ladies, youngsters and individuals with disabilities get the required aid.

One good example of this pledge is the Ehsas Program. This program empowers associations to convey help to individuals encountering monetary difficulty because of COVID-19.

A plethora of government stakeholders are trying their best to help in the eradication of poverty to a great extent by focusing on accomplishing SDG 1 in Pakistan and hammering the final nails in the coffin of poverty and inequality within the country.

While there is still a lot of work to be done, the multi-dimensional endeavors to arrive at this objective are promising.

Moreover, the incumbent Pakistani government has made other various bits of enactment that line up with SDGs as well. The Balochistan Senior Citizens Act of 2017 made arrangements for the prosperity of senior citizens in Balochistan.

Moreover, the demonstration carried out other monetary and social measures to represent the maturing populace in Pakistan.

The public authority additionally found a way to enrol and control charity funding through The Punjab Charities Act of 2018.

These are just two instances of laws intended to help moderate and expunge destitution inside the country. Parliamentary Task Forces have likewise been made to fill administrative holes for every objective and monitor SDG satisfaction as well.

Another indicator for the advancement in the Global Goals can be seen through the Sustainable Development Report, which is a worldwide proportion of a nations’ advancement toward the SDGs, the primary markers for SDG 1 are destitution headcount proportions of $1.90 each day and $3.20 each day.

Starting in 2020, under 1% of the populace in Pakistan lives under the $1.90 each day poverty limit.

This figure not just places the country on target for the accomplishment of SDG 1 but it additionally addresses unmistakable advancement since 2011 during the previous government.

During 2011, 9% of the populace lived in outrageous neediness. However, in order to further improve and progress within SDGs, the government needs to develop and test new models of public-private associations.

Policy makers should start by proactively working in unison with national researchers, think-tanks, proficient affiliations and the local society.

The SDGs are perhaps the best vehicle to lift in excess of 50 million individuals out of destitution when they procure under two dollars every day by enhancing their lives and vocation choices.

Following through on these objectives will likewise assist with improving Pakistan’s capacity to rise as one of the world’s driving economies and, at the same time, reinforce public safety. Moreover, political parties should also try to work as a united front to help promote SDGs.

Their manifestos may contain promises that actually fall in line with the progress in many SDGs but promising alone won’t help eradicate poverty or any of the SDGs. Every party should be willing to deliver and not just promise in this regard.

—The writer is an award-winning journalist, TV anchor and social media influencer.

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