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Focus on Zero Hunger Special Feature Health

REAL LIVES: STORIES THAT INSPIRE US From a child bride to a rights defender. Page 20


Celebrating International Day for Universal Access to Information. Page 25


Female students and international experts celebrate United Nations Day 2017. Page 64


Driving forward regional health. Page 74


Attaining 90% literacy target under vision 2025. Page 94


United Nations Day – 24 October 2017. Page 96


The United Nations Pakistan Newsletter is produced by the United Nations Communications Group

Editors in Chief: Vittorio Cammarota, Former Director, United Nations Information Centre and Neil Buhne, Resident Coordinator, United Nations Pakistan and Acting Director, United Nations Information Centre Sub editor: Chiara Hartmann Producer (photography): Umair Khaliq Producer (content): Ishrat Rizvi Co-Producer (contents -special feature on Health): Basia Heath Graphic Designer: Mirko Neri Contributors: Anam Abbas, Qaiser Khan Afridi, Mahira Afzal, Farzana Akhter, Rizwana Asad, Noman Burki, Shaheryar Fazil, Camila Ferro, Razi Mujtaba Haider, Mehr Hassan, Naima Hassan, Basia Heath, Mahwish Humayun, Dr Adeela Khan, Imran Khan, Adresh Laghari, Sameer Luqman, Abdul Sami Malik, Waqas Rafique, Ishrat Rizvi, Maliha Shah, Zikrea Saleh, Asif Shahzad, Maryam Younus.


Note from the editors

United Nations Pakistan / Magazine / 5 / 2017 |5|

Remembering Mr. Francisco Gamarro, Deputy Representative, FAO Pakistan

focus on united nations peacekeeping

|10| Celebrating World Food Day in Quetta


World Food Day

|11| Marking World Food Day in Peshawar


Change the future of migration. Invest in food security and rural development

|12| Celebrating World Food Day with the World Food Programme


Rural growth for a food secure Pakistan


Investment in food security and rural development crucial for changing migration trends

|13| Contributing towards increasing household incomes

|10| FAO project offices mark World Food Day

|14| On the road to empowerment

|20| From a child bride to a rights defender |21| Legal aid desks provide pro bono advice in conflict-affected Swat |22| Creating access to justice in Swat |23| Rising through the ranks |24| Police Constable Kausar charts a new career path for women news and events access to information

|25| Celebrating International Day for Universal Access to Information climate change

|26| Tackling climate change and improving livelihoods through Chilghoza pine in Pakistan |27| Strategy to improve climate finance management launched culture

|28| Workshop in Kalash Valley to link local crafts women with markets |29| Panel discussion and technical meeting on illicit trafficking of cultural artefacts in Pakistan

|17| Supporting rural women to ensure food and nutrition security |18| Exploring new ways of food security and livelihoods |19| New stunting prevention initiative launched

|15| Raising important questions to address rural development

human rights real lives: stories that inspire us

|16| New tool ranks vulnerability to food insecurity and natural hazards

|50| Cinematography crucial for raising awareness of human rights in Pakistan |51| A public briefing session on the Universal Periodic Review and the treaty bodies hosted |52| Workshop on human-rights based approach to programming industrial and economic development

|77| Setting out priorities for global health The Director-General of the WHO sets out his vision for the priorities for global health |78| The challenges for the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region |79| Pakistan’s Health programme and priorities |80| The health challenges facing the Eastern Mediterranean region

|53| Supporting Pakistani Small and Medium Enterprises and start-ups in clean technology innovation

|85| Sudan’s commitment to speeding up SDGs

|54| New climate change adaptation techniques for the development of leather zone at Sialkot

|87| Nutrition Stabilization Centres tackle malnutrition in Pakistan

|55| Transforming leather processing industries towards low carbon emission and climate resilience development

|88| UNICEF works for a healthy start for every child


|90| Leishmaniasis control success story in Balochistan

|56| Provincial dialogue on industrial relations and labour laws in Balochistan |57| Ninth cohort of National Labour Inspectors’ Training Program completed |58| Stakeholder dialogue on socially responsible enterprises and Employers Federation of Pakistan |59| Fair recruitment initiative in Pakistan

|86| UAE’s commitment to working with WHO to fight polio

|89| Khyber Pakhtunkhwa supported to tackle Dengue fever

|91| Improving health outcomes for people who are HIV positive |92| Obituary: Dr. Mahmoud Fikri, Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean, WHO |93| Turning a new page in Integrated Management of Newborn and Childhood Illnesses implementation

drugs and crime


|30| Pakistan launches first country review report towards eradicating corruption

|60| Mainstreaming human mobility

on air

refugees and displaced persons

|94| Attaining 90% literacy target under vision 2025

|31| Enhancing crime scene investigation capacity of Balochistan Police

|61| First ever refugee school in Punjab formally upgraded, affiliated with board

|95| Peace: a prerequisite for development

|32| Regional conference on human trafficking and migrant smuggling in Pakistan


|96| World Mental Health Day: mental health is inseparable from physical health

|33| Popular Pakistani singer Shehzad Roy designated National Goodwill Ambassador

|62| Assisting the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Government to develop a Youth Employment Framework

|34| Sahiwal Police receives Global eLearning Platform to enhance the core capacities of officers in law enforcement functions

|63| Developing a youth employment strategy

|35| Developing global standards in use of forensic evidence

one united nations

economic development

|36| Economic revitalization programme for FATA launched education

|37| Supporting girls’ right to education and safeguarding of cultural heritage through education in Pakistan |38| 100,000 out of school children in Pakistan the target of UNESCO-Education Above All Foundation initiative gender equality and women’s empowerment

|39| Launch of the State of World Population 2017 ,Report |40| Civil Society Advisory Group for UN Women Meet our members from Pakistan

|64| Female students and international experts celebrate United Nations Day 2017 |68| Pakistan celebrates the 72nd anniversary of the United Nations |69| UN Day 2017 Celebrations - UNODC/ UNWOMEN joint team won the cricket tournament

|95| Financing the sustainable development agenda

|96| Reproductive health rights in an age of inequality |97| Investing in food security and rural development |97| Pakistan’s extraordinary role In UN peacekeeping missions |98| World Food Day with PTV World messages from secretary-general

|99| United Nations Day – 24 October 2017 |99| International Day of Democracy – 15 September 2017

|70| Arrival of new UNHCR’s representative in Pakistan

|100| International Day of Peace – 21 September 2017

|71| UN Corners: Engaging youth and enhancing knowledge about United Nations

|100| International Day for Disaster Reduction – 13 October 2017

|72| UN Cinema screened ‘Nice People’ to mark International Day of Peace |73| Revealed: Himalayan Meltdown highlights climate threats

|40| Meet the Civil Society Advisory Group for UN Women

special feature

|48| Community-Focused Radio Project

|74| Driving forward regional health

|49| Inter Provincial Ministerial Group Meeting held in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

|75| Annual report sets out Dr Fikri’s vision


|76| Opening address for the 64th Regional Conference of the World Health Organization

photo album

|102| Photo album

note from the editors

The fifth issue of the United Nations Pakistan magazine for 2017 focuses on World Food Day, which this year revolves around the global goal of Zero Hunger and the links between migration, food security and agriculture. The UN report on food security and nutrition revealed that after steadily declining for over a decade, hunger is on the rise again, with 815 million hungry people on the planet, and 489 million of these living in countries affected by conflict. Now is the time to work on this goal together in order to build a brighter future for all. The day was marked in Pakistan with the launch of new commitments and initiatives such as increasing rural development, improving household incomes in agriculture through on the ground projects, tackling food insecurity related to natural hazards, and making sure efforts are inclusive for all members of society, including women and the poorest. The special feature of this edition focuses on efforts to drive forward regional health. The 64th session of the World Health Organization Regional Committee for the Eastern Mediterranean was hosted in Islamabad, where important public health priorities for countries of the region including Pakistan were set out. This includes among others dealing with humanitarian health emergen-

United Nations Pakistan | Magazine


cies resulting from conflict, a framework for cancer prevention, and the health sector’s response to climate change. We convene the inspirational vision on these issues of Dr. Mahmoud Fikri, Regional Director for WHO, who sadly passed away on his sway to the World Non Communicable Disease Summit in Uruguay. October 24 marked United Nations Day, and since Gender equality is central to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the occasion was celebrated in Pakistan along with 120 female students who interacted directly with international experts and received precious advice on best practices for a successful international career. The United Nations in Pakistan marked the Day with UN staff members, representatives from the member states, diplomatic community and government. A sports gala comprised of football and cricket tournaments among the UN Agencies also filled the colors in the UN Day celebrations. A number of other important UN observances were also commemorated in the past months, including International Day for Peace, International Day for Democracy, International Day for Universal Access to Information, and the International Day for Disaster Reduction. This edition includes stories about our activ-

ities to promote these days, and our efforts to achieve the SDGs behind them. In addition, information is shared on several development activities undertaken by different UN agencies in the areas of climate change, refugees, drug and crime prevention, gender equality, and education. On the subject of youth, the UN Corners initiative that engages youth and enhances their knowledge about the United Nations and has now opened in 24 public and government universities in Pakistan this year is highlighted in this issue. I would like to express my gratitude to the members of the UN Communications Group and the UN Country Team for their continued support for this magazine and for working in partnership to communicate and help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in Pakistan. Vittorio Cammarota Former Director, United Nations Information Centre and Neil Buhne Resident Coordinator, United Nations Pakistan and Acting Director, United Nations Information Centre


Remembering Mr. Francisco Gamarro, Deputy Representative, FAO Pakistan

A remembrance ceremony was held on September 22 at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Representation premises in Islamabad, to remember and honor the life and work of Mr. Francisco Gamarro, Deputy FAO Representative Pakistan who passed away on September 16, 2017 in his hometown in Spain. This ceremony was attended by the Ambassador of Spain in Islamabad. H.E. Mr. Carlos Morales, Mr. Neil Buhne, UN Resident Coordinator in Pakistan, members of the UN Country Team, senior government officials, the FAO team in Pakistan, members of the Spanish community and Mr. Gamarro’s friends in Islamabad. Mr. Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan, Federal Minister for National Food

Security and Research also visited the FAO Representation to pay his respects. He wrote a personal message in the condolence book, in which he expressed his deep sympathies to Mr. Gamarro’s family and to FAO. This was a day about memories of Mr. Francisco Gamarro, who deeply touched the lives of his colleagues and friends during his time in Islamabad. Mr. Francisco Gamarro was appointed Deputy Representative of FAO in Pakistan in 2014. He joined FAO in 2007 as Project Manager in Aceh, Indonesia and was the Senior Emergency Coordinator in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Cuba, Philippines, Yemen and Pakistan before his appointment as Deputy Representative of FAO in Pakistan. He will always be remembered as

a remarkable professional and human being.


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World Food Day Each year we celebrate World Food Day, and focus on a subject that is linked to FAO’s work. In 2017, World Food Day is dedicated to the relationship between migration, food security and agriculture.

Next year, FAO will co-chair the Global Migration Group alongside the International Organization for Migration.

The slogan is ‘Change the future of migration. Invest in food security and rural development.’ An increasing number of people have been forced to migrate. This is especially due to conflicts, hunger, poverty, lack of access to resources and the effects of climate change. These factors particularly affect rural communities. FAO has a unique role to play in this context.

José Graziano Da Silva Director General Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

We support countries to invest in livelihoods and build more resilient rural communities. This way, rural populations can have the option to remain on their land, or to leave if they want to. FAO also works to improve the food security of people in refugee and displaced camps. We advocate for migration to be safe, orderly and regular. Thus migration can contribute to global economic growth and improve people’s lives.

United Nations Pakistan | Magazine


FAO will work to ensure that food security, sustainable agriculture and rural development are recognized as a major part of the solution to the global migration challenge.

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Change the future of migration. Invest in food security and rural development World Food Day is about Zero Hunger: a Global Goal for the world to achieve together. The day calls on us to renew our commitment to end hunger for every child, woman and man. Achieving this will save countless lives and build a brighter future for all. Ending hunger means building a world where everyone, everywhere has access to adequate and affordable nutritious food. The Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) David Beasley made an impassioned plea for peace amid mounting evidence of the links between conflict, migration and rising hunger. Ten out of 13 of the World Food Programme’s largest food assistance operations are driven by conflict, and as we mark World Food Day today, we think of the people everywhere who dream of peace and of being able to share a family meal at home again. After steadily declining for over a decade, hunger is on the rise again, and of the 815 million hungry people on the planet, 489 million live in countries affected by conflict, the annual UN report on food security and nutrition revealed last month. The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2017 report

found that while most countries have made significant gains in reducing hunger in the last 25 years, progress in most of the countries affected by conflict has stagnated or deteriorated. Conflicts can devastate the economy, disrupt agriculture and lead to forced population movements. A WFP study published earlier this year established a link between hunger and migration. It found that countries with the highest level of hunger, coupled with armed conflict, have the highest outward migration. It showed that people often move several times within their own country before crossing borders, leaving behind their land, jobs and livelihoods. In countries where agriculture and trade are disrupted by conflict or war and the economy is collapsing, the cost of a simple, nutritious plate of food can be more than a day’s wages. WFP has developed an index reflecting the cost of a basic plate of food, as a share of average daily income in 33 developing countries. WFP is actively engaged with the Government of Pakistan to improve food and nutrition security in the country. It is committed to support the Government of Pakistan in achieving its Sustainable Development Goals – especially SDG2-Zero

Hunger by the year 2030. Ending hunger will require investments in agriculture, rural development, nutrition, social protection and gender equality. Achieving this ambitious goal will only be possible through effective committed partnership with other UN agencies, development partners, NGOs, civil society, academia and the private sector in different interventions and initiatives. Finbarr Curran Representative and Country Director , WFP Pakistan


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Rural growth for a food secure Pakistan The 2017 ‘State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World’ report, a just-released UN publication, highlights that in 2016 the food security situation deteriorated sharply in parts of Sub-Saharan Africa, South-Eastern Asia and Western Asia. In Pakistan, while the estimates of Prevalence of Undernourishment decreased from 22 percent to 19.9 percent, there is an increase in the total number of undernourished people from 35.7 million to 37.6 million in the last ten years period. Stunting in children of less than 5 years remains very high at 45 percent, and the prevalence of anemia has risen to 52 percent of women in reproductive age. Agriculture contributes to about 20 percent of Pakistan’s GDP, employs 42 percent of the labor force and is the dominant form of livelihood for the majority of rural households, reaching 97 percent of the population in areas of Pakistan such as FATA, where livelihoods are based on subsistence-level agriculture. The sector is central to any national and provincial strategy to achieve Food Security and eliminate all forms of malnutrition. Areas such as Sindh, Balochistan, and Punjab are drafting new Agri-

United Nations Pakistan | Magazine


cultural Policies. Inclusive rural development and efforts to revive the agricultural sector will help increase livelihoods, incomes and foster economic growth. Innovative practices, investment in green information technology, and farmers’ behavioral changes are required. In that, decent employment opportunities are needed to convince young people in rural areas to stay and contribute to its transformation. In those areas that have suffered from conflicts and population displacement, interventions related to restoration of productive assets and strengthening of productive skills of returnees and of the capacity of the public and private sector service providers delivered benefits. Together with land reclamation and resilience-building activities at community and institution level, these interventions go a long way and have a results-proven track record. Agricultural integrated sustainable systems are central in securing improvements in food security and nutrition and socio-economic stability. The challenge is securing government and civil society attention to the most vulnerable, to scaling up successful pilots. This requires consistency of action, perseverance, adequate resource allocations, coherence and coordination of initiatives at various levels of institutions and stakeholders and across dis-

tricts. It requires realizing the importance of political commitment and working systematically on the ‘soft’ side of planned investments. Minà Dowlatchahi Representative, FAO Pakistan

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Investment in food security and rural development crucial for changing migration trends World Food Day 2017 was marked at the National Agriculture Research Centre (NARC). The theme this year was ‘Change the future of migration. Invest in food security and rural development.’ Various organizations including the Ministry of National Food Security Research, the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the World Food Programme (WFP), Oxfam and research institutes jointly organized the ceremony. The Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research, Mr. Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan was the chief guest at the ceremony. Messages from the President and Prime Minister of Pakistan were read at the ceremony in which the 70-year partnership between the Government of Pakistan and FAO was highlighted. Speaking on the occasion, Federal Minister Bosan said the theme is of particular importance in the context of drawing attention towards the increasing trend of migration that has direct implications on food security. He thanked FAO, WFP and all other development partners for their continuous support to achieve the goal

of national food security. Ms. Minà Dowlatchahi, FAO Representative in Pakistan told participants about FAO’s efforts to improve the food security of people in refugee and displaced camps. She also read out a message from Mr. Jose Graziano da Silva, Director General FAO. The Federal Secretary for the Ministry of National Food Security Research, Fazal Abbas Maken said that to feed a growing population in Pakistan which is projected to exceed 300 million by the 2050, there was a need to learn to grow in a sustainable manner without destroying natural resources. Mr. Finbarr Curran, Country Director and Representative, United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Pakistan said that ending hunger will require investments in agriculture, rural development, nutrition, social

protection and gender equality. The Chairman of the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council Mr. Yusuf Zafar said that development disparity between rural and urban areas of Pakistan was impacting the poor rural population in terms of their right to basic and healthy food. He said that some of the major factors contributing to migration were food insecurity, poverty, adverse impacts of climate change, limited access to social protection, natural resource depletion, unemployment and the lack of economic opportunities in the rural areas. Director General National Agricultural Research Centre, Dr. M. Azeem Khan said that through the collaboration of international partners, the food insecurity situation can be tackled.


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FAO project offices mark World Food Day FAO project offices in Peshawar and Quetta marked World Food Day, to bring attention towards food insecurity and rural development. In Peshawar, Mr. Sanaullah Khan, FAO Program Coordinator and the FAO team welcomed the guests, which included Mr. Abdul Latif Khan, Secretary Livelihood and

Production FATA, Mr. Zia Ul Islam, Deputy Director Agriculture Department FATA Secretariat, and Dr. Ijaz Nutritionist WFP. Similarly in Quetta, Mr. Rahmat Saleh Baloch the provincial Minister of Health was the chief guest at the World Food Day ceremony. Mr. Marcel Stallen, FAO Project Manager and the FAO team in Quetta welcomed the guests.

Celebrating World Food Day in Quetta A ceremony was held at Serena Hotel, Qilla Saifullah Hall to mark World Food Day 2017 to highlight the theme ‘Change the future of migration. Invest in food security and rural development.’ Mr. Masood Baloch, Director General Agriculture Government of Balochistan was the chief guest at the ceremony. The Secretary of Agriculture and Cooperative of the Government of Balochistan, Mr. Ahmed Raza Khan stated that Pakistan has been cooperating with the United Nations for 70 years. More specifically, as Pakistan is an agricultural country it sought membership with the Food and Agriculture Organization soon after independence in 1948. Mr. Marcel Stallen, Chief Technical Advisor FAO and project manager Balochistan addressed the ceremony and highlighted that some of the figures published in the ‘2017 State of Food Insecurity and Nutrition in the World report’ are alarming. In Balochistan one out of two children appears to be affected by insufficient and unbalanced

United Nations Pakistan | Magazine


food in the first 2 years of life, resulting in stunted growth. Effective and urgent actions are required. For the last couple of years, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, together with the Department of Agriculture and Cooperatives of the Government of Balochistan has piloted with Integrated Homestead gardens (also named Kitchen Gardens) at a small scale. However, for real impact and changing traditional food habits of people, effective nutrition messages should be developed and disseminated in combination with training the women in the villages on how to start and operate their own kitchen garden. For this purpose FAO, the Balochistan Nutrition Programme for Mothers and Children (BNPMC, P&D), Civil Society Organizations and the line Departments in Balochistan have joined hands to deliver their combined messages in the villages in the coming years. This integrated approach is expected to effectively change food hab-

its of the population and improve the nutritional status. FAO wants to eradicate hunger and improve food security in Balochistan in the coming years. Mr. Stallen also read out a message from Mr. Jose Graziano da Silva, Director General FAO. Mr. Yasir Haleem, OIC WFP read the message from the Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) David Beasley, who said ten out of 13 of the World Food Programme’s largest food assistance operations are driven by conflict. World Food Day 2017 was supported by the Serena Hotels group. Mr. Rashid Uddin, General Manager Serena Hotel Quetta was also present.

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Marking World Food Day in Peshawar The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) marked World Food Day at its Peshawar premises. A ceremony was organized, and Mr. Abdul Latif Khan, Secretary Livelihood and Production FATA Secretariat was the chief guest. Mr. Zia Ul Islam: Deputy Director Agriculture Department FATA Secretariat, Dr.Ijaz; Nutritionist from WFP and FAO program team also attended the ceremony. Addressing the audience, Mr. Abdul Latif Khan; Secretary Livelihood and Production, FATA Secretariat, said food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs, and their food preferences are met for an active and healthy life.

and coherent approach combining efforts of the development and humanitarian communities, bound by a commitment to build and sustains the conditions for peace, security and respect human rights in FATA.

He appreciated FAO for taking initiative to mark the day with a renewed commitment. Mr. Sanaullah Khan, Program Coordinator FAO apprised the participants about the crisis in FATA which he said was not only a humanitarian one but also development-related, and which could be resolved through a comprehensive

The message of Director General FAO, Mr. Jose Graziano Da Silva, was shared with the participants, followed by a video showcasing the importance of World Food Day. Dr. Ijaz, Nutritionist from WFP shared the message of WFP Country Director and the efforts made by WFP in achieving the Zero Hunger goal.

Later the participants along with the chief guest were able to witness a display of the outcomes of FAO interventions.


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Celebrating World Food Day with the World Food Programme World Food Day - 16 October 2017 was celebrated by the United Nations World Food Programme in Islamabad and its provincial offices in Lahore, Punjab, Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Quetta, Balochistan and Karachi, Sindh. A message on behalf of the Representative and Country Director, Finbarr Curran was read out in all events organized to mark the day. WFP together with its partners emphasized that the day calls to renew the commitment to end hunger for every child, woman and man. Ending hunger means building a world where everyone, everywhere has access to adequate affordable nutritious food. Achieving this will save countless lives and build a brighter future for all. On the day, the Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) David Beasley also made an impassioned plea for peace amid mounting evidence of the links between conflict, migration and rising hunger. WFP Provincial Office Punjab, in collaboration with the Food Department, Government of the Punjab, and in partnership with its development partners UNICEF, GAIN and Pakistan Fortification Programme celebrated the World Food Day in Lahore. A seminar was organized and attended by more than 250 participants from the Government line departments including food,

United Nations Pakistan | Magazine


agriculture, health, academia, NGOs, private sector and development partners. Cecilia Garzon, Head of Nutrition Unit WFP Pakistan, highlighted the situation of hunger and malnutrition in the country. Referring to the results of the cost of diet study, conducted by the Government of Pakistan and WFP, she said that about 67 percent of households in Pakistan cannot afford to buy a minimum level of nutritious diet. To address the issue of malnutrition, WFP is supporting the government along with other partners by providing technical support, fortification of the major staple foods, specialized nutritious food produced locally, and assisting the government in bringing the reform in strategic grain handling and better storage facilities. WFP Provincial Office Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) celebrated the day in coordination with FAO in Peshawar. The

Secretary Food and livelihoods FATA secretariat, Latif Khan was the chief guest. He emphasized on the need to further scale up partnerships for improving food security and livelihoods of returning Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). A similar event was held by the WFP Provincial Office Balochistan in coordination with FAO in Quetta. The event was attended by representatives of the government line departments, UN agencies, academia, and other stakeholders. WFP Provincial Office Sindh celebrated the day in coordination with FAO in Karachi. A wall of posters for the World Food Day was dedicated to promote awareness on #EndHunger, #EndFoodWastage, #FutureOfFood and #FocusOnNutrition; and to reaffirm commitment for working together to achieve #ZeroHunger.

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Contributing towards increasing household incomes

The main source of income in the villages of FATA is through activities that primarily include agriculture and livestock/poultry. Women in Manatu, a Village in FATA, engage in such activities. Villages such as Manatu are heavily impacted by military operations, which affect their main source of livelihood. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) provided interventions in the agriculture and livestock/ poultry sectors to restore this. As part of its aims towards zero starvation, and in an effort to give women independence to gain their own livelihood, FAO felt the best way to engage the women of Manatu village in agricultural activities was through self-help groups. Women in Manatu are seen actively taking part in the rearing of poultry (eggs), but because of the mishandling and poor storage of eggs, diseases, and the bargaining in markets for better pricing, there have been huge losses; hence the main objective of collectivization is to minimize these. FAO decided to form a Farmer Business School of poultry (FBS)

for women to enhance their knowledge. The School had made a business plan for egg production for a week and had collected a target of 168 eggs, which were packed and then sold to the Paramilitary Mess and Canteen adjacent to the village. The idea behind this was to demonstrate that the whole production of eggs when managed and sold with the same pattern can increase the weekly income for these female villagers. Since the local women started performing their livelihood activities with the facilitation of FAO, new techniques were easily adopted and management has improved.

The poultry sector, which was managed by the rural women with economical emancipation and soundness, will now contribute in addressing strategic needs in the future. Activities were planned and executed by the village committee, in which mostly women have increased their managerial, financial and market management skills. Further, the FAO hopes that due to the intervention being executed by means of indigenous practices and knowledge, that neighboring villages will also adopt the low-costing technology.


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On the road to empowerment

Being illiterate can have serious consequences, remarks Safia as she adjusts the veil on her face. She narrates an incident that haunts her to this day: when a woman from her village gave a dose of expired cough syrup to her child because she could not read the expiry date on the bottle. Safia comes from Killi Ali Mohammad in Balochistan. Like almost all the other women in her village, Safia fell into the illiterate category. The situation is not very different in other parts of Balochistan. Educating women is often not on the list of priorities for most families. According to government estimates, less than two percent of women in rural areas are educated in Balochistan, and only 26 percent of women are able read and write in the province. For anyone associated with the wool business, a source of livelihood, the ability to compute is a pre-requisite. Safia recalls how they were dependent on the men who used to do the mathematics for their business, and there was no way for women to find out how much profit their wool was bringing them. However, things took a turn for the

United Nations Pakistan | Magazine


better. Safia found an opportunity to learn and considers herself lucky. She took a training and was taught how to read, write and make simple calculations. Realizing what a life-changing experience the ability to read and write could be, she decided to spread this to other women around her. Safia and approximately 79 other females from Community Organizations benefited from the training that the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) arranged in Quetta, Chagai, Nushki, Kharan, Kech and Wasuk with the support of Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Arranged under the project ‘Economic Empowerment of Women in Balochistan through agri-entrepreneurship’, the five-day basic literacy training not only taught them reading, writing and simple calculations but also equipped them with the skills of record keeping and time management.

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Raising important questions to address rural development

Rural to urban migration, conversion of farmland into industrial and housing zones and low level of investment in the agriculture sector, especially in small-scale farming, are some of the causes of increasing risks of food insecurity and loss to rural development in the country, said speakers at a seminar on World Food Day on October 16. The event had been organized by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI). The Representative of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Pakistan, MinĂ Dowlatchahi, said that there was a need for appropriate policies and strategies to feed the growing population of cities

which was possible only through a strong agriculture sector. Speaking on the occasion, Sustainable Development Policy Institute Executive Director Dr. Abid Qayyum Suleri, was of the view that Pakistan was linked to the triangular theme of the World Food Day: Migration, Food Security and Rural Development. He said the country is fast moving towards a services-based economy from the industrial base economy. With more people gradually shifting from agriculture production to the service sector, a gap at the agriculture sector is being created, which results in low calories consumption by a large number of people.

Member of the National Assembly Romina Khursheed Alam said that respective governments acknowledged that agriculture was the backbone of the economy and the trend of rural to urban migration was also a matter of concern. Dr. Muhammad Azeem Khan, the National Agriculture Research Council (NARC) Director General, said that on the policy front, the country had been focusing on the goal of achieving self-sufficiency in food and not on rural development. He said now work will have to be done for achieving both the goal of food security and putting a halt to rural to urban migration.


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New tool ranks vulnerability to food insecurity and natural hazards

A new tool jointly launched by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) of Pakistan will support interventions related to food security and natural disasters in the country. The ‘Integrated Context Analysis on Vulnerability to Food Insecurity and Natural Hazards of Pakistan’, or ICA, uses existing data to identify the combined level of recurrence of vulnerability to food insecurity, flood and drought, and categorize districts into five levels of vulnerability. The tool also ranks the recurrence level of other natural hazards and contextual factors which may aggravate the impact of floods and drought on food security. The analysis is intended to inform programmes of the government and other agencies in the areas of social safety nets, disaster risk reduction, early warning systems and disaster preparedness. Speaking at the launch of the report, Lieutenant General Omar Mahmood Hayat, HI (M), Chairman of the National Disaster Management Authority said the tool is meaningful from multiple standpoints, particu-

United Nations Pakistan | Magazine


larly for those associated with food security and natural disasters. Finbarr Curran, World Food Programme Representative and Country Director in Pakistan stated that data should tell a story in a way that is visually exciting and easy to understand, which is what the tool does. He also congratulated the National Disaster Management Authority for its vision, leadership and engagement in the analysis. The Integrated Context Analysis was conducted between January and October 2017 under the leadership of the National Disaster Management Authority, and with the involvement of relevant ministries, Provincial Disaster Management

Authorities, line departments, technical institutions, WFP and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). WFP works with the authority on various activities which have contributed to the strengthening of emergency preparedness and response capacities of the Federal and Provincial Governments.

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Supporting rural women to ensure food and nutrition security

Over the years, Pakistan has made gains becoming a food surplus country, and a major producer of wheat. A recent reduction in the prices of staple foods and a concurrent decline in inflation might increase access to food if the trends continue. However, 60 percent of the population is still facing food insecurity. This is due primarily to limited economic access by the poorest and most vulnerable – particularly women – to an adequate and diverse diet. An average Pakistani household spends 50.8 percent of their monthly income on food, and shocks, including high food prices, flooding, and significant population displacement in the northwest since 2008 exacerbate the situation. The latest national nutrition survey found that 15 percent of children under 5 suffer from acute malnutrition, the second highest rate in the region. Close to 44 percent of children in the same age group are stunted, 32 percent are underweight and the majority of children under 2 consume less than half of

their daily energy requirements, with low levels of vitamins and minerals. The World Food Programme (WFP)’s work in Pakistan is aligned to Government priorities as defined in their Vision 2025. WFP supports Government-led efforts to improve food and nutrition security among vulnerable communities; works with communities to build resilience; address malnutrition; create an enabling environment for women to achieve social and economic equality.

Below are a few voices from the field- Sindh where WFP is actively engaged in supporting rural women to ensure food and nutrition security.


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Exploring new ways of food security and livelihoods

The Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan is an impoverished, backward, marginalized region of the country. The situation has further deteriorated due to militancy, terrorism and military operations over the last decade. Millions of people were displaced from their homes in FATA. They lost their lives and livelihoods including livestock and agriculture. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations started a project in October 2015 entitled ‘Agriculture Recovery and Development of FATA’. The main goal was to create and enhance agriculture-based livelihood opportunities through recovery and development of the agriculture sector. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations is conducting different activities such as community mobilization, provision of agricultural inputs, poultry and livestock. Sultan Asghar S/O Khyal Masan is a 50-year old farmer in a family of fifteen, including women and children. Agriculture is the main source of livelihood for his family. They were temporarily displaced due to a

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military operation in February 2014, and shifted to the Ring Road area of Peshawar. He went through many difficult days during displacement. After one and a half years, when forces cleared the area and declared it de-notified, Sultan Asghar moved his family back to his village Haji Khayal Masan Kalay Bara Khyber Agency. During the assessment for Rabi2016 packages, he was selected for an assignment of 5kg. of lentil seeds. He was thankful to UN-FAO for the support and assistance coming in the shape of seeds and trainings.

The growth of the crop was very encouraging and he took care of the special plot on an experimental basis. His one-canal lentil seed plot ended up yielding a very good production. After harvesting in the month of April 2017, he received 4 mounds, translating into 200kg. production of lentil/pulse. The total income of lentil produce is Rs.28000/-. In addition to lentil, he also received 4 mounds of straw production to be used for his livestock.

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New stunting prevention initiative launched A new programme to prevent stunting among children in Pakistan’s Balochistan province has been launched by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in partnership with the provincial government’s Planning and Development Department. The three-year project in Pishin district will provide nutrition support to more than 20,000 pregnant and nursing women and children under five. Malnutrition rates in Balochistan are alarmingly high. Currently, more than half of all children under five are stunted – have low growth for their age - and 16 percent of the population is malnourished. Anaemia affects 70 percent of children and three quarters of pregnant and breast-feeding women. Recent research indicates that malnutrition in Pakistan leads to an annual loss of 3 percent of GDP, or approximately US$ 7.6 billion per year. Malnutrition undermines the physical and mental physical development of children, reduces their ability to learn well in school, and has a life-long impact on their health and productivity. The new initiative, which aims to break the inter-generational cycle of stunting and malnutrition across

Pishin district, is supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and is aligned with the Government of Pakistan’s Vision 2025 and Global Nutrition Targets under Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) movement. It will be implemented in 22 Union Councils of Pishin district and will engage more than 188 female health workers in providing WFP’s ready-to-eat nutritious products along with key behaviour change messages to the target groups. The project will be implemented in collaboration with the provincial Nutrition Cell; the provincial Lady Health Worker Programme and the Health Department of Balochistan. Other collaborating partners including UNICEF, the World Health Organization and the provincial Peoples Primary Healthcare Initiative which will provide technical

and implementation support.


real lives: stories that inspire us

From a child bride to a rights defender It is a fine evening. A group of Afghan women are enjoying traditional Afghan tea with Roghni (Afghan snacks) and white Afghan sweets. Everybody is happy as they gather to fix the date for an engagement ceremony. Amid the excitement, the mother of the 14-year-old, soonto-be-bride takes everyone by surprise when she raises her concerns about underage marriage. This woman is 45-year-old Adeela Bibi, an Afghan refugee, who resides in the north-western city of Quetta in Pakistan. Adeela informs the gathering that marrying off underage girls is an offence, against Islamic teachings and considered a violation of the national and international laws. Adeela herself was married when she was only 13 years old. She had no idea what marriage even meant. She says she was expected to grow from a child into a wife, woman and a house manager overnight. Her child-like conduct annoyed her inlaws, who would beat her out of frustration because she could not perform the daily tasks up to expectations. Over the course of 32 years, Adeela Bibi has given birth to two daughters and six sons. Her husband is years older than her and is now too old to work. In January 2017 Adeela was chosen to

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be part of the Safe from the Start project; a gender-based violence (GBV) prevention initiative that is implemented as a livelihoods project by UNHCR through its partner, Taraqee Foundation. Adeela learnt rug weaving, tailoring, and how to read and write. Adeela attended awareness sessions on Gender Based Violence and learned that religion, and national and international laws empower women with many rights. She has been sharing her new knowledge with her daughters and other women in her neighbourhood. In addition to the knowledge and confidence that she has acquired, Adeela is making a living through rug weaving and tailoring. She is happy she is now able to buy food and other things for her children and for her husband. She says that women must equip

themselves with education and other skills to empower themselves to make meaningful contributions in their communities. She believes that this has enabled her to stand against harmful practices. She has also succeeded in stopping the marriage of her daughter at an early age. Adeela Bibi says that she will not marry off her daughter until she is physically and mentally mature to handle the new life. Adeela’s younger daughter is studying at school, while the elder one is learning tailoring and embroidery skills at home. Adeela believes that learning and working is the greatest achievement of her life and she is inspiring other women to work and to exercise their rights.

real lives: stories that inspire us

Legal aid desks provide pro bono advice in conflict-affected Swat Zakirullah, 15, will never forget the day that a verbal exchange with a neighbor turned physical and he was stabbed between the ribs. Bystanders hurried him to Madain Hospital, about ten kilometers away. But no one would treat the injured teenager without a first Information report (FIR) filed at the police station. The family eventually managed to register the FIR over the telephone. By this time, Zakir had lost a great deal of blood and was unconscious. He was referred to a larger hospital in Mingora, some 50 kilometers away – a difficult and expensive move. Zakir’s father, Akhtar Munir is a laborer earning barely PKR 500 ($5) a day. The financial burden was acute, and was worsened by the challenges to accessing justice in the region. Zakir survived, but the family’s troubles had only just begun. His mother says the entire marketplace had witnessed this heinous crime but nobody was willing to speak up, and that the perpetrator was a criminal, but a financially secure one. Navigating the legal system was immensely challenging for this impoverished family. Fortunately, the child protection of-

fice of the provincial Social Welfare Department referred Zakir’s case to a legal aid desk. There, after careful analysis, it was found that the case had too many loopholes in it – the first investigation report was unclear and the accused had fled to Saudi Arabia after just 12 days in jail. Zakir’s lawyer knew there weren’t many sound legal options. So, he did the next best thing: he arranged a PKR 40,000 payment ($400) to the family to cover Zakir’s medical expenses. Akhtar Munir is relieved and grateful for this assistance. His son is alive and his medical expenses are fully covered. There were no legal fees to pay, as the legal aid desk is operated pro bono and supported by the Swiss Cooperation Office in Pakistan and UNDP’s Strengthening

Rule of Law Programme. This programme aims to deepen ongoing efforts to secure peace and stability in the region by enhancing effective and accountable justice and security service delivery. The project has supported legal aid desks and clinics, provided training on dispute resolution, and supported women to enter the legal profession. To date, 8,345 people (45 percent women) have benefited from legal aid clinics, and 188 cases have been referred for follow up to legal aid desks.


real lives: stories that inspire us

Creating access to justice in Swat Accessing justice can often be a slow and expensive process in Pakistan, with cases often tied up in courts for years. Many people are unaware of their legal rights. In areas of the country where women traditionally do not participate in public life, they face additional difficulties in exercising their legal rights. Such challenges not only make it difficult for many in Pakistan to resolve disputes fairly, they reduce trust between communities and the government. In the Swat district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Ahmad Dost Khan is working to rebuild this trust and provide access to justice for his fellow citizens. By profession a farmer, he is also a social worker and has been certified as a paralegal after completing a course at the University of Malakand. As a community-based paralegal, Khan has resolved about 20 cases within his community. Khan achieved his certification through a course organized by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and supported by the European Union in December 2016. Through this initiative, UNDP aims to strengthen the rule of law in Malakand, the administrative area including Swat, which was ravaged by militancy in recent years. The project also operates in southern districts of

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Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province which have also been affected by insecurity. To date, 200 paralegals (46.5 percent of them women) have been trained and provided services to 1,092 people. The paralegal course has provided Khan with valuable skills to mediate between parties, deal with public bodies and help individuals assert their rights. He is highly conscious of the barriers women face in exercising their rights, and his role in helping overcome these barriers. To support this, he hopes that the paralegal programme remains sustainable, with its certification recognized, networks established to share information, and more women trained as paralegals. As a social worker, he also conducts career counselling at colleges and uni-

versities to help young people choose their careers and enter the workforce, and is joined in this effort by his daughter, a student herself. He also helps community members obtain their Sehat Insaaf Cards which guarantee free healthcare, finding that many people are simply not aware of this service. With support from the European Union, the United States Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs and the UK Department for International Affairs, UNDP’s Strengthening Rule of Law project seeks to build public trust and confidence in justice. Working with informal justice institutions, the project helps communities to settle disputes, and creates links between formal and informal justice mechanisms.

real lives: stories that inspire us

Rising through the ranks Constable Irum Khan says it was a big day for her when she found out about her recruitment in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police. She had applied secretly and faced the expected reaction from her father and other family members. Constable Khan comes from Swabi, a district in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province where strong cultural mores prevent women from working outside the home. Khan broke from this longstanding tradition and joined the KP police force in 2008. It took many hours of arguing to persuade her father. However Khan was supported by her eldest uncle who recognized that times were changing, and convinced her father to change his mind. Khan’s father eventually became her strongest supporter. While the people of her village stared at her when she came home late from work, her colleagues in the police have always encouraged her to continue her job. Gradually her family and neighbours came around and became increasingly proud of her. Irum Khan rose swiftly through the ranks. She gained first position in the B1 promotion examination, and

is now Head Constable at a model police station established with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). These police stations have been upgraded with new equipment and renovated premises, training for police officers, and the introduction of community policing, gender-responsive policing and women’s desks staffed by female officers. By focusing on police services for women, the initiative aims to help reach women who are often unable to access services in this conservative society. A total of 2,581 police officers (including 441 women) have been trained on gender-responsive policing, supervisory and communications skills, crime scene investigation and management, and basic IT. With 41 model police stations already functioning, UNDP is in the process of establishing 12 more with support from the European Union, United States Bureau of International Narcotics and Law

Enforcement Affairs and the UK Department for International Affairs, to improve access to justice and build bridges between communities and those sworn to protect them. In this role, Constable Khan has handled many cases of domestic violence that might otherwise have gone unreported. Her work has been widely recognized and she has received appreciation certificates from the Inspector-General of Police in KP province. She feels that the training provided through the UNDP programme has been critical to her success. Khan plans to build on her academic and professional development. She has become particularly interested in investigation, and wants to advance in this area of policing. She hopes that with training support from UNDP and its partners, she will have the opportunity to build her skills and achieve a high position in her chosen field.


real lives: stories that inspire us

Police Constable Kausar charts a new career path for women

Kausar is the eldest of two daughters born in the small village of Hasomat Serian in the Mansehra district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province, Pakistan. In this highly conservative region, many girls are denied the opportunity to receive an education, let alone to embark upon a career. Kausar did both. Today, she is the only woman from her village with an education, and is now working as its first police officer, a constable. She attributes this ground-breaking career path to her parents’ support. Today, her parents and her husband are her most fervent backers. Kausar knew from an early age that it was up to her to support her parents as they aged, and to ensure that her sister received opportunities in life. Recently, Kausar had the opportunity to attend a training on basic information technology through UNDP’s Strengthening Rule of Law Programme, with funding from the US Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. This programme aims to improve the quality of policing in areas of KP province that have been affected by violence and insecurity. The

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long-term objective is to strengthen the rule of law by ensuring that law enforcement officials provide high quality, prompt and responsive services to the communities they serve. A critical part of this is to bring them up to speed with modern methods such as electronic filing. The project also funds the establishment of fully-equipped model police stations where the staff are trained on community policing, crime scene management communication skills and gender-responsive policing. Having been a member of the police force since 2014, Kausar immediately sees that these innovations will help. With newfound training and ongoing support, Kausar is proud of the role she plays in her family and community.

news and events

access to information

Celebrating International Day for Universal Access to Information Democratic rights, freedom of expression, and the right of access to information were some of the key cross-cutting issues discussed during the celebration of the International Day for Universal Access to Information on 28 September. With the participation of various stakeholders, the event employed a holistic approach to further the debate on access to information between government officials, civil society members, students, journalists, and members of the international community. During the opening remarks, UNESCO’s Representative, Ms. Vibeke Jensen emphasized the significance of proper policy and legislature as being paramount to achieving the goals set out by the SDGs. She said only equitable access to and provision of information to everyone can truly advance progress in any society. The key-note address was delivered by the Secretary of the Ministry of Human Rights Ms. Rabiya Javeri Agha, who highlighted the right to Information as fundamental. Ms. Agha iterated the need for a transparent Right To Information legislation, and the importance of citizen engagement. ‬ Her Excellency, the Swedish Ambassador, Ms. Ingrid Johansson opened the exhibit on ‘The Swedish Freedom of the Press Unfolded’, stating that free-

dom of expression is a fundamental right we have to fight for together and it is an instrument for democratic and developed societies. A panel of experts was convened ─- including UN Resident Coordinator Neil Buhne, Deputy Director of the Punjab Information Commission Ahmed Naeem, Owais Aslam Ali, Secretary-General at the Pakistan Press Foundation, and Shmyla Khan, Project Manager at the Digital Rights Foundation. During the talks, moderated by Sadaf Khan, Director Programs at Media Matters for Democracy, experts contextualized the need for RTI laws within the SDG framework, and highlighted the importance of the consultative process while drafting laws. Roundtable discussions were then conducted with moderators, experts in the Right to Information (RTI) field. The importance of creating an all-encompassing Right to Information law that is gender sensitive and includes minorities was discussed. It was agreed upon, that in order to make progress towards

SDG 16.10, it is essential that no one be excluded from the RTI narrative. While presenting their findings, the moderators noted that there was a general consensus on the need for transparency and that information should be accessible through digitized means, and procedures in place should be easy to use by citizens.‬ In their closing remarks, the Ambassador of the Netherlands, Her Excellency Ms. Ardi Stoios-Braken, accentuated the role of RTI in empowering citizens and the EU Ambassador, His Excellency Jean François Cautain addressed the significance of gender disaggregated statistics, the inclusion of multiple languages in information portals, and the importance of RTI in the role of a democratic countries. The event workshop, titled ‘Powering Sustainable Development with Access to Information,’ was held with the support of the EU, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and the Embassy of Sweden.


news and events

climate change

Tackling climate change and improving livelihoods through Chilghoza pine in Pakistan The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) with the collaboration of the Ministry of Climate Change and provincial Forest Departments will contribute to bettering the environment, enhancing resilience and improving livelihoods in Pakistan over the next 5 years through its project ‘Reversing deforestation and forest degradation in high conservation value Chilgoza Pine in Pakistan.’ The Global Environment Facility (GEF), the largest public donor for projects aimed at improving the global environment will provide the financial support for this initiative. As part of the consultative process, a two-day National Validation Workshop was held on 7-8 September at the FAO Representation in Islamabad. Representatives from the federal and provincial government, forest departments and local and international development partners were amongst the participants. The Chilghoza ecosystem in Pakistan is subject to the negative impacts of climate change. Chilghoza Pine is an important member of the unique ecosystem of the dry temperate ecological zone and has the potential to contribute billions of rupees to the economy by providing

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non-timber forest products, providing fuel wood and regulating water. This project will cover Chilghoza forests in Balochistan, FATA, KP and Gilgit-Baltistan. Welcoming participants, Ms. MinĂ Dowlatchahi FAO Representative to Pakistan said that the collection and processing of Chilghoza has a tremendous potential to provide a good source of income by supporting local livelihoods. This project is key in that it will provide a mechanism to achieve successful restoration of forests. Through this project FAO and its partners aim to strengthen regulatory and policy environment for integrated and sustainable management of Chilgoza forests, conserving and restoring Chilghoza forest landscape, building capacity of local institutions and other stakeholders and developing a value chain which would help improve community resilience and provide them with sustainable means of securing livelihoods. Mr. Syed Mehmood Nasir, Inspector General of Forests Ministry of Climate Change said that the partnership of government and FAO is important for adopting best practices in order to enable Pakistan to cater to the demand of the international market. During the workshop, participants engaged in sessions dedicated to

identifying ways and discussing issues related to forest degradation, improving food security and livelihoods of the communities growing Chilghoza Pine, while contributing towards improving the environment at the same time. The participants agreed that the workshop will be instrumental in project implementation.

news and events

climate change

Strategy to improve climate finance management launched As the world prepares for the United Nations climate change summit (COP 23) in Bonn, Germany, Pakistan has unveiled a strategy to align its climate action with its financial management systems. This aims to make existing responses to the challenges and opportunities posed by climate change more effective, and positions the country to better engage in negotiations and resource mobilization at the international level. On October 16, 2017, the Government of Pakistan and UNDP released two key documents to improve how climate change is integrated into its budget and public financial and economic management. The first, known as a Climate Change Financing Framework (CCFF), outlines a reform agenda constituting new policies and processes to better align climate finance to existing climate policy objectives in Pakistan. The CCFF was elaborated in partnership with UNDP’s Governance of Climate Change Finance Programme, which has been supporting the Government of Pakistan since 2012. The CCFF links policy and budgeting to increase the transparency of allocations while improving the effectiveness of existing public finance. Another report was also released at the CCFF launch. The so-called ‘Climate Public Expenditure and Institutional Re-

view’ (CPEIR) provides an overview of the landscape of current climate policy and budget spending in the country, with a view to improve future climate action. Neil Buhne, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative said that since Pakistan is among the top ten countries globally affected by climate change, for the country to respond to these challenges, a comprehensive approach is needed as part of planning and budgeting. He suggested all available resources must be used more effectively if countries are to minimize the effects of climate change. The CPEIR outlined all climate relevant expenditure federally and in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, Punjab and Sindh. The overall results found that Pakistan’s

climate expenditure compares well with other countries with the four provinces and the Federal Government spending a national average of around 8 percent of total expenditures on activities related to climate change. The review also shows that most Federal funds lean towards mitigation activities whereas most provincial funds are oriented towards adaptation.


news and events


Workshop in Kalash Valley to link local crafts women with markets

On 23 September, UNESCO held a workshop in Chitral titled ‘Crafty Creations: Linkages to Empower Kalasha Women.’ This workshop concluded the Australian-funded project, ‘Socio Economic Empowerment of Kalash Women through Making of Traditional Products using Contemporary Approach.’ Kalasha women traditionally possess numerous craft skills, including weaving and embroidery. Their colorful dresses are an example of this. In recent years, the quantity and quality of craftwork has been deteriorating due to poverty constraints, as well as lack of access to markets. This project aimed to contribute to the preservation of the skills unique to Kalasha women by producing marketable products that carry the distinct stitches and

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colors of the Kalash valley. In order to economically empower Kalasha women, while also safeguarding their unique cultural practices, the workshop was held to ensure the sustainability of the project by establishing market linkages. The project took a novel approach to craft-making, in that traditional methods of weaving, sewing, and bead-work were used to create contemporary products such as laptop bags, cushion covers, and mobile pouches. During the course of the one-day workshop, a consultant conducted training sessions on high quality craft-production, fair wage negotiation, and social media marketing. Entrepreneurs from 3 large-scale enterprises were invited and took part in the workshop in order to link Kalasha women to

well-established businesses. The project-implemented by Hashoo Foundation resulted in the training of 80 Kalasha women, a small subset of which were chosen to participate in the workshop, and pass down their knowledge through a trickle-down method to the rest of the trainees. Along with UNESCO and Hahsoo Foundation staff, members of the Australian High Commission were in attendance, including Second Secretary to the Australian High-Commission, Hugh Boylan, and Mateen Amin (Political, Economic and Program Officer). In his opening address, Mr. Boylan stressed the importance of efforts geared towards gender equality, and iterated the Australian High Commission’s commitment to it. He applauded UNESCO and Hashoo Foundation’s efforts in the implementation of the project, and stated his appreciation of the Kalasha women’s commitment to their work.

news and events


Panel discussion and technical meeting on illicit trafficking of cultural artefacts in Pakistan

The Government of France organized an international festival ‘Heritage Now’ in partnership with UNODC, the Higher Education Commission (HEC), the National History and Literary Heritage Division, UNESCO, the British Council, and the Walled City of Lahore Authority (WCLA) in Lahore. The goal of the festival was to build awareness of the global importance of Pakistan’s cultural and archaeological heritage, as well as to mobilize collaborative efforts among government and international partners to help protect and conserve this heritage by preventing and countering destruction and trafficking in cultural property. Mr. Cesar Guedes, UNODC Country Representative, gave his opening remarks at a panel discussion ‘Illicit Trafficking of Cultural Artefacts in Pakistan’ on 22 October 2017 at Alhamra Arts Council, Lahore. The panel discussion was a special side event organized for creating awareness among the relevant stakeholders, professionals, academia and international organizations to discuss the pressing issue of trafficking of cultural heritage. The panellists included Mr. Junaid Akhlaq, Joint Secretary, National History and Literary Heritage Division, Government of Pakistan, Mr.

Cesar Guedes, UNODC Country Representative, Mr. Celso Corracini, Crime Prevention Officer, UNODC Headquarters, Ms. Vibeke Jensen, Director, UNESCO and Mr. Sajid Akram, Deputy Director, Federal Investigation Agency, Punjab. Mr. Guedes said in his remarks that a cursory reading of recent political events in the region and across the world makes it apparent that illicit trafficking in cultural artefacts is not a national issue, not even a regional one, but very much a global matter of concern in today’s global village. UNODC in collaboration with the French Embassy and Government of Pakistan also held a separate technical meeting on 20 October 2017 with a special focus on illicit trafficking in cultural artefacts and its interconnections with other forms of transnational organized crime. The meeting was attended by experts of national and international law enforcement experts, regulatory authorities which included the French Embassy, the European Union, UNESCO, the

Federal Bureau of Revenue, Federal Investigation Agency, federal and provincial archaeological and museum departments, including the State Bank of Pakistan and National School of Public Policy. The technical meeting officials highlighted the key issues and challenges pertaining to the trafficking of cultural artefacts and provided an overview of the interconnections at regional and global levels, and shared best practices in international multi-agency partnerships to effectively combat the issues from law enforcement perspective and the international cooperation modalities. Recommendations were mutually agreed by the Government of Pakistan and relevant stakeholders, which will help strengthen the national legal framework, develop capacity of law enforcement and judicial authorities to prevent and deter the illicit trade of cultural artefacts.


news and events

drugs and crime

Pakistan launches first country review report towards eradicating corruption

Pakistan is committed to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) to eradicate corruption in all its manifestations by implementing its articles through an intensive approach of awareness, prevention and enforcement, said Mr. Zahid Hamid, Federal Minister of Law and Justice in his statement at the Launch Event of the Country Review Report of Pakistan in Compliance with the Implementation Review Mechanism of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC). Emphasizing the determination of the Government of Pakistan to take concrete action in the future, Mr. Qamar Zaman Chaudhry, Chairman of the National Accountability Bureau stated that the National Follow-up Committee will proactively

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monitor the progress on compliance highlighted in the Country Report and supervise the preparations for the second review cycle. Mr. Arshad Mirza, Secretary of Interior also added that the Ministry of Interior would take all the steps to address the recommendations in the Country Review Report. According to Mr. Cesar Guedes, Representative, UNODC Pakistan, the report is the result of what is perhaps one of the most significant milestones the Government of Pakistan has undertaken in combatting corruption. Pakistan has marked its accomplishment with the production of the Report that reflects key recommendations in view of enhancing Pakistan’s legal and institutional capacity as a means of controlling and combat-

ting corruption. Pakistan demonstrated its serious will to take active steps to improve its institutional capacity and align its relevant laws with international norms and standards embodied in the UNCAC. The National Accountability Bureau, as an apex anti-corruption organization, presented the main findings of the Report and announced its future implementation strategy, which is expected to rejuvenate much needed discussion and attention on the way forward to make the anti-corruption efforts more effective and comprehensive. Attended by key government agencies, international communities, and members of civil society, the launch event drew further attention and initiated fruitful exchanges for the support of well-targeted and concrete actions to enhance the capacity of Pakistan’s institutions, public and private, including civil society organizations to tighten their interventions for better governance and anti-corruption in an effective way.

news and events

drugs and crime

Enhancing crime scene investigation capacity of Balochistan Police The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Pakistan (UNODC COPAK) works in close collaboration with Pakistan’s Police services to enhance the capacity of crime scene investigation officials. Traditionally the majority of investigators rely on eyewitnesses at the crime scene. However, institutionalizing this new approach focusing on the complete cycle of crime scene management will enable the investigators to identify the perpetrators through the evidence available

at the crime scene, and its subsequent presentation before a court of law. UNODC organized two ‘First Responder’ courses for 100 officers from 24th to 27th July 2017, and one ‘Specialized Crime Scene Investigation’ course from 31 July to 3 August for 50 investigation officers, for the Balochistan Police. The first responder training aims to enhance knowledge and skills development vis à vis basic procedures, and to provide an introduction to international best practices on crime scene protection and preservation, towards attaining the capacity of effective investigation. The specialized crime scene investi-

gation course equips police personnel with advanced knowledge and skills in identification, preservation, gathering, and storage of physical evidence from the protected crime scene; and in processing it according to international standards.


news and events

drugs and crime

Regional conference on human trafficking and migrant smuggling in Pakistan

UNODC organized a regional conference on Trafficking in Persons (TIP) and the Smuggling of Migrants (SOM) on 24-25 October 2017. Participating countries included: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, Greece, Spain, Italy, Austria, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hungary, Russian Federation, Czech Republic UAE and Iraq. The event was made possible with the generous contributions of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection of the Government of Australia, the European Union under GLO.ACT and the US State Department under Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (JTIP). The objectives were to further strengthen law enforcement cooperation in the region by bringing together officials to discuss emerging trends and patterns; and exchange information concerning best practices and emerging national trends.

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Mr. Cesar Guedes, Country Representative UNODC Pakistan said these phenomenons are a terrible tragedy proliferating under our eyes, and stressed that UNODC will take every step towards assisting member states towards their elimination. Federal Minister of Interior, Mr. Ahsan Iqbal said Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling can be identified by overcoming the push and pull factors. A message delivered on behalf of H.E the Ambassador of the United States by Mr. Leon Waskin, Coordinator for Economic and Development Assistance suggested that success will require partnerships among a variety of stakeholders. A message delivered on behalf of H.E the High Commissioner of Australia by Mr. Mathew stated these issues must be addressed through international cooperation coupled with effective domestic policies and the involvement of the private sector. Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed, Chairman Committee of Senate on Defense and CPEC, said that Parliamentarians shoulder a great

responsibility to ensure that they provide leadership through appropriate laws. Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Director General Mr. Bashir Ahmed explained that Pakistan is conscious of its international obligations and has taken a number of measures encapsulating FIA’s Strategic Framework to combat human trafficking and migrant smuggling (2016-2020). Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan and Frontex – European border and coast guard agency delivered presentations on emerging trends of irregular migration and the tools available to member states for enhancing information sharing in line with best international practices. Mr. Jean-François Cautain, Ambassador of the European Union in Pakistan, said all governments need to take further concrete measures to address the complexity of crime and criminal groups involved in moving people. Participants also worked on a roadmap for future action. The 2014/2015 Federal Investigation Agency Annual reports on human trafficking and migrant smuggling along with UNODC’s recent report on ‘Smuggling of Migrants from Pakistan, Reasons, Routes and Risks’ were also launched at the event.

news and events

drugs and crime

Popular Pakistani singer Shehzad Roy designated National Goodwill Ambassador United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has appointed singer Shehzad Roy as its new National Goodwill Ambassador. The appointment of Mr. Roy is aimed at increasing visibility and assisting in mobilizing support in relation to drug demand reduction, prevention and treatment. UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov said throughout his career as a singer, social worker and a humanitarian, Mr. Roy has shown an unwavering commitment to tackling illicit drugs. His position as one of Pakistan’s most famous singers, his enduring popularity with young people, and his energy and undoubted talent, will help UNODC publicize the dangers of drug abuse. Mr. Roy said he had been following UNODC’s work even before joining them as a Goodwill Ambassador, and will give his all to his new role as National Goodwill Ambassador for Pakistan. Mr. Roy is the President and founder of Zindagi Trust, a non-government charitable organization that strives to improve the quality of education available to the average Pakistani. In 2005, Mr. Roy received the Sitara-i-Imtiaz, one of the highest civil honors awarded in Pakistan for excellence in public service. For his organisation’s rehabilitation work after the 2005 Kashmir earthquake, he was also

awarded the Sitara-e-Eisaar (Star of Sacrifice) in 2006. Mr. Roy has further demonstrated commitment to humanitarian affairs by performing in a peace concert at the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony in Oslo, Norway. He has also given talks at Harvard University on music, activism and his documentary series as well

range of activities, including the marking of International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, supporting prison and police reforms, and advocating for gender-responsive services for drug abusers.

as his struggle to bring social change throughout Pakistan. During his term, Roy will speak out on criminal justice and drug demand reduction, visit UNODC projects, educational institutions and rehabilitation centres, and raise awareness on the Office’s important work. He is expected to take part in a wide


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drugs and crime

Sahiwal Police receives Global eLearning Platform to enhance the core capacities of officers in law enforcement functions

The Regional Training Centre (Police) Sahiwal has received eLearning curricula from UNODC to enhance core policing and law enforcement skills of its officers along international standards. Sahiwal Regional Training Centre was established in April 2017 to deliver on-job training and various capacity building programmes to police officers of various ranks from the Sahiwal region. In collaboration with United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the Punjab Police has established an eLearning centre to address the train-

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ing needs of Sahiwal Regional Police in specialised areas such as Drugs related crimes, human trafficking and migrants smuggling, awareness and preservation of digital evidences, crime scene investigation and criminal intelligence etc. The Regional Police Officer (RPO) Sahiwal Mr. Muhammad Tariq Chohan along with UNODC Country Representative Pakistan Mr. Cesar Guedes inaugurated the newly established eLearning centre at the Sahiwal Regional Training Centre. UNODC’s Criminal Justice Programme

Advisor Ms. Jouhaida Hanano and other programme staff of UNODC were also present on the occasion. Under the UNODC’s Pakistan Country Programme initiative, the UNODC with support from its international partners assisted the Government of Pakistan in implementing its policy priorities in the areas of criminal justice system, drug control and border management, drug demand reduction and controlling HIV/AIDS. Country Office in Pakistan has established 55 eLearning centres within various law enforcement agencies, while for the Punjab Police it is the 9th eLearning centre established at Sahiwal Regional Training Centre. Talking about success and the impact of UNODC eLearning, Mr. Cesar Guedes said the Programme has had a great level of achievement as over 50,000 personnel country-wide of Pakistani law enforcement agencies have completed over 270,000 hours of foundational and specialised level of training programmes. Mr. Cesar Guedes also acknowledged the contribution of UNODC’s international partners, in particular the Government of Denmark, for their support for Pakistan’s Country Programme II (2016-19), under which the Sahiwal Regional Training centre also received eLearning curricula and equipment for training.

news and events

drugs and crime

Developing global standards in use of forensic evidence A five-day training workshop ‘’Developing common standards in use of forensic evidence’ was held between 16 and 20 October 2017 at the Punjab Forensic Science Agency (PFSA) in Lahore. Especially designed for judges, prosecutors and police officials from the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the training workshop was organized under the auspices of ‘Pakistan’s Action to Counter Terrorism with a special reference to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’ project in collaboration with the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Judicial Academy (KPJA). The training participants included district and session judges, additional district and session judges, prosecutors, police officers and medicinal officers from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. They were taught through numerous case studies almost all the forensic science aspects including ballistics, crime scene management, forensic pathology and histology, DNA and biological information, fingerprints, forensic toxicology, questioned documents, narcotics, polygraph, computer/digital forensics, trace evidence and audiovisual analysis. The participants were also taken to the state-of-the-art facilities available at the PFSA and numerous experiments were performed for their better understanding. On the closing day of the training work-

shop, Mr. César Guedes, Representative, UNODC Pakistan, expressed his gratitude to Dr. Muhammad Ashraf Tahir, Director General, PFSA, for his generous support and personal interest in the establishment of the stateof-the-art facility and termed PFSA as a splendid national asset and a model to be followed in the other provinces of Pakistan. Mr. Guedes elaborated upon the PACT project, which is a joint endeavor by the European Union, UNODC Country Office Pakistan and the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) of Pakistan. The project aims at improving the investigation process, using forensic science in terrorism cases, and strengthening the capacity of police and judiciary departments to effectively prosecute and adjudicate the cases. This training was part of the recommendations that were highlighted

under the Case Analysis Exercise conducted earlier this year under the PACT project. Mr. Guedes distributed certificates to the participants upon their successful completion of the training workshop and urged them to apply the knowledge in their work. The participants praised UNODC’s efforts and support to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Judicial Academy for organizing the high-quality training workshop where all the actors from the criminal justice system of the province were gathered to develop common understanding of forensic science. This training was made possible by the generous support of the European Union.


news and events

economic development

Economic revitalization programme for FATA launched

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in partnership with the FATA Secretariat inaugurated the FATA Economic Revitalization Program at an event in Peshawar. Representatives from USAID and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) signed the PKR 1.6 billion (US$ 15 million) award for building sustainable livelihoods in three FATA agencies – South Waziristan, North Waziristan and Khyber –affected by insecurity and displacement. Speaking at the ceremony, USAID’s Assistant to the Administrator, Office of Afghanistan and Pakistan Affairs, Gregory F. Huger said the program will help to improve quality of life for residents of FATA. This new initiative will not only contribute to livelihood and resilience but will also lead to sustainable economic development in the region. The Governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA, Engr. Iqbal Zafar Jhagra, also spoke at the ceremony, along with the U.S. Consul General Stephen Fakan and USAID/Pakistan Mission Director Jerry Bisson.

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The FATA Economic Revitalization Program will benefit nearly 17,000 families over three years, improving access to non-farming livelihoods for people returning to the FATA after being displaced. The program will also foster a partnership among the government and private sector for long-term employment creation and inclusive economic growth. UNDP Country Director Ignacio Artaza said the partnership builds on successes over two years of working with communities under the FATA Transition and Recovery Programme to rebuild livelihoods after years of insecurity. The United States is helping the Government of Pakistan to improve the lives of residents in FATA through humanitarian assistance and housing, educational, and live-

lihood support to rebuild stable communities.

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Supporting girls’ right to education and safeguarding of cultural heritage through education in Pakistan

In the presence of the Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training, Mohammad Baligh-ur-Rehman, and Additional Secretary, Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and Natural Heritage, Syed Junaid Akhlaq, UNESCO and the Government of Italy signed an agreement of approximately USD 1.7 million to enable UNESCO to implement a two-year project entitled ‘Support to girls’ right to education and safeguarding cultural heritage through education in Pakistan’. The agreement was signed by H.E Stefano Pontecorvo, the Italian ambassador to Pakistan, Ms. Santa Molè, Head of Italian Cooperation and Ms. Vibeke Jensen, UNESCO Representative. The project has two components: the

first one on Education which aims to support the efforts of the Government of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in increasing access, retention and improving the quality of girls’ education through capacity building and targeted interventions at both institutional and community levels. District Bahawalpur in the Punjab and District Swat in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are focus districts. Vibeke Jensen, UNESCO representative said the Italian funds allowed them to expand on-going girls’ right to education interventions to more districts. The second component is aimed at supporting the efforts of the Government of Pakistan in the protection of Cultural Heritage through enhancing the role of young people and commu-

nities in safeguarding cultural heritage through capacity building in protection. UNESCO will undertake awareness raising activities among the general public and specifically focus on school going youth and teachers. All four provinces will benefit from the interventions of this component. SDG 4 on education points out the importance of teaching children respect for cultural diversity, respect for the environment and promotes a culture of peace. Santa Molè, head of the Italian Cooperation said it was a pleasure to provide this assistance through UNESCO, allowing future generations to fully appreciate the incredible rich and diverse culture that Pakistan possesses.


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100,000 out of school children in Pakistan the target of UNESCO-Education Above All Foundation initiative The Education Above All Foundation (EAA), through its programme Educate A Child (EAC), and UNESCO have partnered on a programme to benefit 100,000 out-of-school children in Pakistan. The project will support the expansion of UNESCO’s on-going cooperation with the Government of Pakistan on girls’ education and focus on 14 remote districts with low primary school enrolment rates. Through advocacy and school improvement interventions, the project will work closely with parents, teachers and communities to enrol children, prevent dropout and improve learning. Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO suggests the project will act on all fronts to advance inclusive, quality education in Pakistan, especially for girls. Project activities include capacity building of school management committees and district education officials, including for the establishment of vital facilities such as compound walls and toilets, which have a positive impact on school attendance. It will also support teachers in improving their teaching and management skills in multi-grade classrooms. In implementing this joint project, which will invest $12.8m, the UNE-

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SCO Office in Pakistan will continue to work closely with provincial and local education authorities, as well as non-governmental organizations with long records of accomplishment in the targeted districts. The announcement of the initiative came during the week of the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly in New York, where the Education Above All Foundation representatives are part of the Education 2030 Steering Committee on Sustainable Development Goal 4. The Foundation has provided longstanding support to UNESCO to enhance access to quality, inclusive education for the most marginalized and to protect education in insecure environments and conflict zones, notably in Iraq, where this partnership has ensured projects on curriculum development, teacher training, literacy and higher education.

news and events

gender equality and women’s empowerment

Launch of the State of World Population 2017 Report

Unless inequality is urgently tackled and the poorest women are empowered to make their own decisions, countries could face unrest and threats to peace and to their development goals, according to the ‘The State of World Population 2017’ report, published by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). The cost of inequalities, including in sexual and reproductive health and rights, could extend to the entire global community’s goals, adds the new UNFPA report, entitled ‘Worlds Apart: Reproductive Health and Rights in an Age of Inequality.’ Failure to provide reproductive health services to the poorest women can weaken economies and sabotage progress towards the first sustainable development goal of eliminating poverty. Economic inequality reinforces and is reinforced by other inequalities, including those in women’s health, where only a privileged few are able to control their fertility, and, as a result, can develop skills, enter the paid labor force, and gain economic power. In most developing countries, the poorest women have the fewest options for family planning, the least access to antenatal care and are most likely to give birth without the

assistance of a doctor or midwife. Limited access to family planning translates into 89 million unintended pregnancies and 48 million abortions in developing countries annually. This does not only harm women’s health, but also restricts their ability to join or stay in the paid labor force and move towards financial independence, the report argues. Lack of access to related services, such as affordable child care, also stops women from seeking jobs outside the home. For women who are in the labor force, the absence of paid maternity leave and employers’ discrimination against those who become pregnant amount to a motherhood penalty, forcing many women to choose between a career and parenthood. UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Natalia Kanem stated that countries that want

to tackle economic inequality can start by tackling other inequalities, such as in reproductive health and rights, and tearing down social, institutional and other obstacles that prevent women from realizing their full potential. The UNFPA report recommends focusing on the furthest behind first, in line with the United Nations blueprint for achieving sustainable development and inclusive societies by 2030. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has “envisaged a better future, one where we collectively tear down the barriers and correct disparities,” the report states. “Reducing all inequalities needs to be the aim. Some of the most powerful contributions can come from realizing women’s reproductive rights.”


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gender equality and women’s empowerment

Civil Society Advisory Group for UN Women - Meet our members from Pakistan Realizing the importance of involving civil society to strategize on the achievement of the sustainable development goals and policy and advocacy perspectives, UN Women has convened the civil society advisory groups. The Civil Society Advisory Group (CSAG) will act as a platform to conduct consultations and

dialogue to ensure that UN Women stays connected to the real needs and issues of Pakistan’s women and girls and to its civil society, and informed on the key priorities areas through civil society’s expertise, experience, perspective and knowledge. UN Women Pakistan has engaged 15 civil society members for the Civil Society Advisory Group. These members include the leaders of grassroot, rural and community-based groups;

women, social, peace and human rights activists; leaders of minority and marginalized groups, including transgender; representatives of NGOs and government, and social entrepreneurs. The consultations with the CSAG members will focus on the thematic areas of political participation, women’s economic empowerment, violence against women and humanitarian response/peace and security.

Meet the Civil Society Advisory Group for UN Women Rubina Chandio: Advocate Rubina Chandio is a well-known social activist, gender expert and trainer from Shahdadkot, Sindh. For the last eight years, she has been working with Pirbhat Women Development Organization as a Programme Coordinator. Rubina is also working as a Provincial Coordinator of Gender Development Network of Pakistan. Additionally, she is a member of Pakistan Reproductive Health Network, Women Global Network for Reproductive Rights-Philippines, District Advisory Committee Larkana on the implementation of Standard Operating Procedures in Darulaman, and a member of the District Education Group of Qamber-Shahdadkot.

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Irfan Mufti: Irfan Mufti is working as a Deputy Director at the South Asia Partnership Pakistan (SAP-PK), a consortium of South Asian and international NGOs working in South Asia for the development of grassroots initiatives, through community-based NGOs. Irfan Mufti also serves as the National Secretary of Pakistan Social Forum. He assisted the Government of Pakistan in developing its National Social Development Policy.

Fatima Iqbal Khan: Fatima is a widely-known human rights activist and a development practitioner with eleven years of experience while working in the nonprofit sector at senior positions. She has been actively involved in raising awareness about violence against women, child protection and welfare, early-age marriages, forced conversions, target killings, interfaith harmony and disability rights.


gender equality and women’s empowerment

news and events Farkhanda Aslam: Farkhanda Aslam is currently working as an Associate Director at the Institute for Development Studies and Practices (IDSP), she has completed her LLB and Masters in Political Science. She is a member of Non-Formal Curriculum Development i.e. Committee for Non-formal Curriculum and Policy Development, Gender Task Force, Balochistan and Early Child Development Network, Pakistan. She has also contributed in the development of the Pro-Women Bill in Balochistan by being part of the consultation process.

Rukhshanda Naz: Rukhshanda Naz has over twenty-four years of multi-sectoral experience in rightsbased development, legal aid, and policy advocacy with a special focus on gender, peace and women’s rights. Naz has been associated with the Aurat Foundation as the Resident Director and the Chief Operating Officer, and with the UN Women as a Senior Programme Officer. She has received several honors and awards for her extraordinary contributions to advancing women’s equal rights. Currently, she is serving as Executive Director at the Legal Aid and Awareness Services(LAAS).

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gender equality and women’s empowerment

news and events

Kami Chaudhary: Kami Chaudhary is a social activist, model and the Executive Director at the Sub Rang Society. Kami has been working with gender minorities since 2012. She is also the first transgender model in Pakistan. Her work is focused on ending trans-phobia and breaking the stereotypes attached to it. She is also a working group member of Youth Voices Count from South Asia. Currently, she is working on a legislation for transgenders in Sindh with the National Commission for Human Rights Pakistan (NCHR).

Zahida Qureshi: Zahida Qureshi is an activist for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs). She is serving as a coordinator for women with disabilities on behalf of the World Health Organization (WHO), Akhwat, Punjab Welfare Trust for the Disabled (PWTD) and Social Welfare Department Punjab to advance the rights, inclusion, and empowerment of the persons with disabilities in the Southern Punjab. She was awarded with the ‘Fatima Jinnah Women of the Year’ award in 2016 for her work in the development sector.


gender equality and women’s empowerment

news and events Raj Kumar: Raj Kumar Gujar is an Islamabad-based peace activist, the President of District Women Action Forum and the General Secretary of the Pakistan-US Alumni Network. For the past five years, Gujar has been engaged in organizing large-scale events and campaigns to promote peace, education, women empowerment and interfaith harmony to counter extremism and intolerance. Gujar has represented Pakistan on several international and national platforms including at the Harvard Project for Asian and International Relations 2017 (Harvard University) and Global Peace Youth Festival 2015 (India)

Fiza Farhan: Fiza Farhan is a business professional in the renewable energy, women empowerment and impact investment sectors in Pakistan. Fiza currently represents Pakistan on the United Nation’s Secretary General’s first-ever High-Level Panel on Women Economic Empowerment; serves as the Chairperson to the Chief Minister of Punjab’s Task Force on Women Empowerment; became the youngest Chief Executive Officer of a micro-finance institute in Pakistan ‘Buksh Foundation’ and was the director of Buksh Energy.

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gender equality and women’s empowerment

news and events

Samar Minallah: Since obtaining her M.Phil. in Anthropology and Development from the University of Cambridge, UK, Samar is challenging child marriages, and various culturally sanctioned forms of violence against women and girls. She has been part of training programs at the National Judicial Academy, National Police Academy and the Civil Services Academy. Referred to by the media as ‘The Savior of Soul’, ‘Women who Rock the World’, and ‘The Crusader with the Camera’, she continues to advocate against child marriages. Samar uses different creative tools such as film, art, music and poetry for advocacy and development.

Gulalai Ismail: Gulalai Ismail is a human rights activist, Chairperson of the Aware Girls and the Seeds of Peace Network. Gulalai Ismail was 16 when she started a platform where girls could be educated and trained as ‘Agents of Change and Empowerment’. Gulalai believed in bringing change by making young girls and women aware of their basic rights. Gulalai is the recipient of the International Humanist of the Year Award from the International Humanist and the Ethical Union, Democracy Award 2013, Commonwealth Youth Award 2014 and the Fondation Chirac Peace Prize. Gulalai has been recognized as an ‘Agent of Change’ by the British High Commission Pakistan.


gender equality and women’s empowerment

news and events Sana Mahmud: Sana Mahmud is the Captain of the Pakistan National Women’s Basketball Team, and former Captain of the Pakistan National Women’s Football Team. She is a Fulbright scholar and a staunch advocate for women’s participation and representation in sports. Having played both sports from an early age, she is the only female athlete in Pakistan to have been given the opportunity and honor to lead both teams. She has also initiated and helped coach two basketball summer training camps for young girls within the twin cities to promote the sports in Pakistan. She is currently the captain of the National Basketball team that has been formed after a period of 20 years.

Justice Kailash Mehta: Justice Kailash Mehta is currently serving as the Chairperson of the Balochistan Public Service Commission. He started his law practice in 1973 in Quetta, served as the Deputy Attorney General of Pakistan in 2000-2003 and as the Justice, Balochistan High Court from 2004-2010. He was the member of National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW) from 2010 - 2016 and is a member of its Law Committee. He is also a member of the National Minority Commission and author of many laws such as the Acid Throwing, Women Inheritance Law, Hindu Marriage Act etc. He is also on the advisory panel on Women Legislation for the Provincial Assembly of Balochistan.

United Nations Pakistan | Magazine


gender equality and women’s empowerment

news and events

Sadaffe Abid: Sadaffe Abid is the co-founder of the CIRCLE, a leading social enterprise that aims to build and develop the entrepreneurial and leadership capacity of women and youth. CIRCLE’s flagship campaign Elevate encourages male and female leaders from corporate, social sectors and government to pledge for women’s advancement and economic participation. Sadaffe completed her Masters at the Harvard Kennedy School, the Advanced Management Program at INSEAD, and a B.A. at Mount Holyoke College. She is a recipient of the Mount Holyoke Alumni Achievement Award.

Mehreen Afridi: Mehreen Afridi is a young entrepreneur, a human rights defender, women and youth rights activist and advocate, a volunteer, and motivational speaker from FATA. She fights to promote women and youth activism for peace, education and development in FATA, to secure decision-making positions of women in the public sphere and inclusion of FATA women into the social, economic and political development process since 2007. She was honored with the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Youth Recognition award by Government of KP in April 2016, and honored with Governor’s Special Award, National Youth Award Pakistan, for her excellent track record of working for women and youth of during 2013.


gender equality and women’s empowerment

news and events

gender equality and women’s empowerment

Community-Focused Radio Project

UN Women and UN Volunteers launched the Community Focused Radio Project in Quetta, Pakistan. This pilot project aimed to promote women’s empowerment and youth volunteerism. It targets marginalized women and youth in two communities with the goal of establishing community based radio programs for entertainment, information and education of the community. After much interest from the communities, youth volunteers were selected to be part of this training, mainly by creating radio programmes to discuss relevant topics in their communities. UN Women and UN Volunteers hosted the Provincial Consultative Workshop on July 18 2017 at Serena Hotel in Quetta. The participants included 36 stakeholders from UN Women, UN Volunteers, Women Development Department, community volunteers and community representatives from Hazara and Khaizi Town, Social Welfare Department, other UN agencies, University of Balochistan, Radio Pakistan, local Government, Information Department, civil society organizations and more. The objectives of the workshop were to share updates on the Community-Focused Radio Project and also to seek feedback and inputs for the way forward. To gather inputs from community

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members for content development of the radio programmes, listener groups were formed in the communities to provide inputs and feedback after the programs are aired. The participatory rural appraisal (PRA) assessment was held to gather ideas from the listener groups on the most important issues they face in their communities. Thirty community volunteers, selected from Hazara town and Khaizi town, underwent their first capacity building training to develop their presentation and communication skills in Quetta. In addition to practicing their communication and presentation skills, volunteers learned about the importance of volunteerism, and their role as volunteers within the community focused radio project. They also developed their gender awareness, specifically regarding their understanding of basic gender concepts and women’s rights. Volunteer Story: “For a marginalized community, radio serves as a light at the end of the tunnel. It gives hope to women, girls, men, and boys from such communities that they need not to stay silent anymore, rather they can raise their voices through the medium of radio. In my community, the community radio project has changed our lives. Every sphere of life is interconnected. When we educate men and women, we are investing not just in education but also in the development of the whole society. If we create radio programmes

to create awareness of the women’s rights, we can build role models for the women of the whole community, who, as a result, will be empowered and far from being marginalized,” says Nigham, a volunteer at the Community-Focused Radio Project. International Youth Day 2017 is dedicated to celebrating young people’s contributions to conflict prevention and transformation as well as inclusion, social justice, and sustainable peace. In preparation for International Youth Day 2017, UN Women and UN Volunteers presented a session on International Youth Day: Youth Building Peace. The volunteers from the Community-Focused Radio project learned about the history of this day, and the ways they can celebrate it in their communities. Additionally, each volunteer shared what peace and security means to them, and then created a heart collage from these messages.

news and events

gender equality and women’s empowerment

Inter Provincial Ministerial Group Meeting held in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

The Women Parliamentary Caucus (WPC) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW) with the support of UN Women hosted the 13th Inter Provincial Ministerial Group Meeting (IPMG) in Peshawar from 24 to 25 October 2017. The meeting brought together relevant stakeholders from all over Pakistan to strengthen the coordination mechanisms, share achievements and collectively deliberate on faced challenges in relation to women’s empowerment and gender equality. The common areas echoed in the discussion were pertaining to legislation, policy, sensitization of stakeholders, violence against women, and women economic empowerment. Presence of institutional mechanisms such as ombudsperson, gender units in departments, crisis centers and shelters were highlighted by the provincial delegates. Mr. Asad Qaiser, Speaker for the Provincial assembly KP acknowl-

edged the importance of this forum for sharing success stories, issues and challenges. The Provincial Ministers of Women Development Departments, National/Provincial Commissions on the Status of Women, National and Provincial Women Parliamentary Provincial Caucuses (WPC), Speakers and Deputy Speakers of Provincial Assemblies, Federal Ministry of Human Rights and Provincial Women Development Departments (WDDs) attended the meeting from all four provinces including FATA, Gilgit-Baltistan and AJ&K. On the occasion, the publication ‘Stakeholders’ Analysis Beijing +20 Report’ prepared by NCSW was also launched. To accomplish women’s empowerment and gender equality several challenges were pointed out. These included lack of conducive environment, weak implementation and monitoring of laws and policies, frequent transfer of government officials, inadequate vertical and hori-

zontal coordination between women machineries, line departments and civil society. Financial issues, and lack of human resources and expertise were termed as additional bottlenecks. The forum proposed a set of recommendations including linkages with sectoral departments, strengthening of women’s machineries, investing in building of non-traditional skills of women, political participation and representation of women especially in the context of elections 2018, introduction of new areas such as women and sports and impact of climate change on women. The meeting ended with the formulation of a resolution with consensus. The development of an effective reporting and coordination mechanism of Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women was stressed, and regular reporting on all ratified international human rights conventions.


news and events

human rights

Cinematography crucial for raising awareness of human rights in Pakistan Cinematography can be an effective and creative tool to address human rights in Pakistan. In a session jointly organized by the United Nations Information Centre, the

Jean-Francois Cautain, Ambassador European Union Delegation to Pakistan, Kanzul Fatima, Pakistani Filmmaker and Christine Chung, Human Rights Officer, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights participated as panelists. Vittorio Cammarota, Director UN Information Centre moder-

about human rights can be opened. Kanzul Fatima, Pakistani Filmmaker said that cinema may be the ultimate tool to remind us what it means to be human, and that films have the ability to change perceptions, which is all that is sometimes needed to save generations.

Asia Peace Film Festival, the European Union Delegation to Pakistan and the Pakistan National Council of Arts, the panelists discussed how cinematography can help raise awareness of human rights in Pakistan and around the globe. The panelists highlighted the influence of cinematography and the importance of engaging filmmakers to advance human rights. In fact filmmakers have access to large audiences, have the knowledge and the tools for communicating to the lay public, and are capable of generating emotions and influencing people’s opinion about the world. Sahraa Karimi, Afghan filmmaker,

ated the session. Human rights are essential to achieve Sustainable Development Goals. The 2030 development agenda builds upon the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international human rights treaties and emphasizes state’s responsibilities to respect, protect and promote human rights and fundamental freedom for all, without distinction of any kind. Sahraa Karimi, Afghan Filmmaker stated her belief that film has a great influence to promote human rights among people and society, and that it is a medium through which global dialogue

Vittorio Cammarota, Director United Nations Information Centre said cinema is a powerful tool for raising awareness of human rights among the general public. He added that the support of the Pakistan National Council of Arts is instrumental to ensure that Pakistani people are aware of how they can contribute to the development of their own country.

United Nations Pakistan | Magazine


news and events

human rights

A public briefing session on the Universal Periodic Review and the treaty bodies hosted Ms. Christine Chung, Human Rights Officer at the Office of the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights in Geneva, gave a briefing on the Universal Periodic Review at the UN Information Centre in Islamabad. Talking to the parliamentarians, government, media and civil society representatives and university students, Ms Chung, said that the Universal Periodic Review is a unique inter-governmental mechanism of the Human Rights Council, aimed at improving the human rights situation in the 193 United Nations Member States. Under this mechanism, the human rights situation of all UN Member States is reviewed every 4.5 years. Pakistan is among the 42 member states, which are being reviewed in 2017 during three working group sessions. Explaining the process, Ms Chung said that as part of the 3rd cycle of the Universal Periodic Review, Pakistan has submitted its report that will be part of the review on 13 November. Pakistan went through the Universal Periodic Review in 2008 and 2012.Ms Chung also shared very useful information on how civil society can contribute to the reviews of the Universal Periodic Review and other treaty bodies and also to the implementation of the related recommendations. Following the briefing, parliamentar-

ians, university students and human rights activists interacted with Ms. Chung about the human rights issues, state’s responsibilities and obligations that need to be fulfilled to ensure effective protection of human rights. Ms. Chung said the different sets of recommendations are complementary, and implementing them, or making the changes that they call for means there is a lot of hard work ahead. Mr. Babar Nawaz Khan, Chairman National Standing Committee on Human Rights said the Universal Periodic Review is an excellent opportunity for Pakistan to review and improve human rights situation with the help of the international community. Mr. Vittorio Cammarota, Director, UN Information Centre stated that access and right to information is a fundamental human right. The briefing provided an exceptional opportunity to the Pakistani people to have a direct interaction

with an expert from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and to learn about the core international human rights treaties and as how the government, civil society and other stakeholders can contribute to improving the human rights standards. Ms. Tahira Abdullah, a development worker and human rights defender observed that civil society organisations and human rights defenders are playing a proactive and vibrant role in the promotion of human rights, for instance through submitting shadow/alternate reports on the Universal Periodic Review and human rights conventions, to which Pakistan is a State Party. Mr. Muhammad Junaid Naseem, a university student from the International Islamic University in Islamabad said it was great to learn as how the human rights issues are discussed and reviewed at the global level.


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human rights

Workshop on human-rights based approach to programming Empirical evidence and practice show that a human rights-based approach to development programming leads to better and more sustainable human development outcomes. The UN development programming leads to the realization of human rights, including those of the most marginalized and vulnerable. But how can we ensure that our plans, policies and processes of development are truly anchored in a system of human rights and corresponding obligations? These questions were at the core of a training workshop that the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office in Pakistan organized for all agencies aimed at applying a human rightsbased approach to joint interagency work-planning. Heike Alefsen, the Senior Human Rights Advisor of the United Nations Development Group visited Pakistan to help get staff to think critically about how UN programming leads to the realization of human rights with a specific focus on leaving no one behind. The human rights-based approach to programming identifies beneficiaries as rights-holders and duty-bearers and ensures that the programming objectives lead to

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empowering rights-holders to know and claim their rights. How results of the programme and projects are phrased has a direct impact on how change is brought about. Using specific, empowering and active language to phrase results changes the way programming objectives are perceived and pursued. Hence, the practical value of a human rights-based approach to development is the realization of the rights of the marginalized. Pakistan has ratified seven core human rights treaties whose treaty bodies issue binding recommendations that have the potential to support the work of the United Nations. In 2017, Pakistan went through three of these treaty body reviews resulting in a set of recommenda-

tions on how to improve the human rights situation in country. The workshop also looked into how these recommendations support the UN to formulate analyses, outcomes, activities and indicators. Furthermore, Pakistan has also adopted the 2030 Agenda in its own national development Vision 2025. With human rights at the heart of the SDGs and as a cross-cutting issue throughout all seventeen goals, Pakistan shows real commitment to human rights in development. Together with the government of Pakistan, the UN will ensure human rights joint programming to benefit rights-holders and duty-bearers while strengthening their capacities.

news and events

industrial development /economy

Supporting Pakistani Small and Medium Enterprises and start-ups in clean technology innovation An intensive business clinic was held in Lahore by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) for providing training to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and start-up businesses that have been declared as semi-finalists under the Global Cleantech Innovation Program (GCIP) Call for Awards 2017. Adopting Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement are the world’s commitment to safeguard the global commons. UNIDO with its unique mandate to support inclusive and sustainable industrial development has partnered with the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to address the most pressing global environmental challenges of our time. Through fostering innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems, UNIDO and the Global Environment Facility seek to promote affordable and scalable solutions enabling our partner countries to leapfrog to cleaner, more resilient economies. Global Cleantech Innovation Program currently running in 12 countries, including Pakistan, focuses on fostering emerging and commercially viable clean technology startups to fuel green industrial growth in the country, while small and medium-sized enterprises are provided with training, mentoring, and access to potential investors.

The session started with the review of the commercialization potential of individual innovations. The first clinic was delivered by a prominent intellectual property lawyer, Mr. Saad Nasrullah, who elaborated the importance of patents as well as the procedure of filing patents both locally and internationally. After the session, the GCIP winners of last three years encouraged the teams to take their cleantech ideas to new heights. They also inspired the participants by narrating their entrepreneurial journey and how GCIP supported them. The last clinic of the first day was chaired by renowned sustainability consultant Ms. Ambreen Waheed, who stressed the need for sustainability especially in terms of environmental and related facets; her analysis of business ideas in terms of sustainability was an eye opener for the entrepreneurs and they gathered many take home messages to comply and tailor their ideas according to different local and international environmental standards.

The second day continued with the remodeling of the business clinic with the expertise of Mr. Farhan Riaz, a business expert from University of Engineering and Technology Lahore along with another ‘Guru of Entrepreneurship’ Mr. Faisal Jalil Sherjan from Lahore University of Management Science. Both experts gave valuable guidance to participants and stressed on improving their business plan for making it further mature according to the requirements of investors. Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Shahina Waheed, National Programme Coordinator, Global Cleantech Innovation Programme said she was convinced that this intensive exercise had been helpful in improving the quality of the respective business models.


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industrial development /economy

New climate change adaptation techniques for the development of leather zone at Sialkot

To help the effective control of environmental hazards caused by the tanning industry in Sialkot and to improve the Climate Change adaptation capability, UNIDO is implementing a Global Environment Facility (GEF) funded project entitled ‘Mainstreaming Climate Change Adaptation through Water Resource Management in Leather Industrial Zone Development’ to shift scattered tanneries to a centralized location and provide facilities such as a Common Effluent Treatment Plant, Solid Waste Disposal Site, Common Effluent Collection System and flood management. It is an immensely important project for the leather industry, executed by the Sialkot Tannery Association Guarantee Ltd (STAGL) with the technical support of UNIDO. The Sialkot Tannery Zone has been planned to reduce environmental footprints where all Sialkot based tanneries will relocate to newly planned leather industrial park with generous support of Global Environmental Facility (GEF) and the Government of Pakistan. The first project steering committee meeting was held on 19 Oct 2017 at Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industries. The committee meeting

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was attended by high-ranking officials, dignitaries, industrialists and relevant stakeholders. The project Director, Mr. Muhammad Atif, elaborated the importance of the role of project partners in providing technical support in establishing effluent treatment plant. Mr. Ahtisham Gillani, CEO Sialkot Tannery Association Guarantee Ltd, acknowledged the efforts of project partners and stressed the need for sustainability especially in terms of Government support in environmental and related aspects. Speaking on the occasion, Ms. Nadia Aftab, UNIDO Country Representative in Pakistan, said that she is very pleased to see the steering committee meeting had been helpful in reviewing progress and way forward in implementing the project work plan and activities. She also stressed that initiatives such as this one are key in achieving the SDGs, especially Goal 9 and inclusive and sustainable industrial development

in Pakistan. UNIDO is determined to bring international best practices for sustainable production without deteriorating the environment and help reduce climatic impacts. The UNIDO team along with related stakeholders paid a visit to the tannery zone project site near Sialkot international airport and witnessed its great progress. The efforts of Punjab Government are also laudable: 400 acres of land have been dedicated to relocate the tanneries.

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industrial development /economy

Transforming leather processing industries towards low carbon emission and climate resilience development The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) has chalked out a comprehensive programme to improve the environmental situation and address issues such as solid waste management and cleaner production techniques in tanneries, specifically in the reduction of CO2 emissions for resilient development in Korangi Sector 7-A. The project is being funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF). UNIDO conducted a consultative workshop to set out the project and its various outputs in collaboration with the Pakistan Tanneries Association (PTASZ) Environmental Society Korangi Industrial Area, with the active participation of the Ministry of Industries and Commerce, Government of Sindh. Mr. Mazoor Hussain Wasson, the Minister for Industries and Commerce, Government of Sindh said climate change is a definite reality. There is a consensus among the Government and industrialists of Sindh province to determine best international practices for effective mitigation, contributing ultimately to enhance the export of leather and leather products from Karachi. Addressing the participants, Mr. Abdul Hakim Soomro, the Secretary Industries Government of Sindh assured full cooperation from the government to improve the environmental condi-

tions of the industrial sites. He also stressed upon active participation of the private sector, as well as new initiatives to reduce pollution and tackle climate change. He also highlighted that five combined treatment plants for industrial areas in Karachi have been approved. Mr. Gulzar Firoz, Chairman of the Pakistan Tanneries Association, emphasized UNIDO’s assistance for the upgrading of the existing effluent collection and conveyance system, as well as a comprehensive plan for solid waste management to reduce the carbon footprint of the tannery. Ms. Nadia Aftab, UNIDO Country Representative recalled the agency’s mandate, which echoes SDG9 but also aligns with many other sustainable

development goals. UNIDO Pakistan is engaged in several initiatives related to industrial competitiveness, improving the environment profile of various industrial areas by addressing climate change mitigation and adaptation. Mr. Ivan Kral, Industrial Development Officer, Project Manager UNIDO presented the project and its various proposed outputs. The workshop was attended by various Government and Local Government representatives, NGOs, Academia and Representative from Industry, Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Pakistan Tanners Associations.


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Provincial dialogue on industrial relations and labour laws in Balochistan On 18 August 64 members of the All Pakistan Labour Federation (APLF) gathered in Balochistan for an Awareness Raising Seminar on ‘Promoting Trade Unionism, Social Dialogue, Collective Bargaining and Occupational Health and Safety for industrial peace’. The seminar was organised by the EU-funded Project ‘Sustaining Pakistan’s GSP Plus status’ implemented by ILO. Mr. Sultan Achakzai, President of the federation stated that spreading the importance of increased trade unionism, collective bargaining and occupational safety and health for promoting decent work and industrial peace is important in the perspective of GSP Plus and international competitiveness of the country. Abid Niaz Khan, National Project Coordinator of the EU funded project on Sustaining Pakistan’s GSP Plus status stated that better compliance of core labour standards, particularly the core conventions on freedom of association and collective bargaining can help Pakistan sustain the GSP plus benefits and also increase its competitiveness in labour friendly countries.

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Participants at the seminar raised various issues related to the enforcement of labour laws in Pakistan. The event was characterised by six parallel technical sessions on various issues concerning the labour market and industrial relations in Balochistan. The points discussed included trans-provincial issues emanating from Industrial Relations Act of 2012, Coal Mine Working Conditions & OHS, decreasing trade unionism and collective bargaining in Pakistan, strengthening OSH and labour laws compliance for workers safety and sustaining GSP Plus. Mr. Shuja ul Mulk Gitchki, Director General of Labour Welfare in Balochistan in his concluding address promised that the suggestions tabled by the workers would be catered to in the ongoing labour

legislation and policy formulation. He also pledged that the provincial government of Balochistan will bring about necessary institutional and administrative reforms, so that the laws and policies could be effectively enforced on the ground.

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Ninth cohort of National Labour Inspectors’ Training Program completed The ninth cohort of the National Labour Inspectors’ Training Program took place on 21 September in Muzaffarabad with the financial and technical support of the Dutch funded project on Strengthening Labour Inspection System in Pakistan (SLISP). The objective of the training was to improve the theoretical and practical competencies of the labour inspectors regarding labour inspection regulatory frameworks; Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work (FPRW); and contemporary labour inspection methodologies/skills. Speaking during the opening session, Ms. Noreen Arif, the Honourable Minister for Labour AJK, welcomed the participants from Gilgit Baltistan, Islamabad Capital Territory and Azad Jammu and Kashmir and reiterated the importance of labour inspection in promoting labour rights. She proposed that the effectiveness of the labour inspection system in Pakistan could be improved by decreasing the current human and financial resource deficit under the inspectorate system, institutionalizing user-friendly labour inspection tools, addressing the data management and enhancing the provision of training to Labour Inspectors. The Honourable Minister also appreci-

ated the well-timed support of the ILO and described the training as a step closer towards promoting labour law compliance. Ms. Arif also thanked the Dutch Government for its commitment towards improving the labour inspection regime in Pakistan through the provision of financial resources for the training. Mr. Raja Ghazanfar Ali Khan-Director for Commerce and Labour AJK, and Mr. Shah Jahan-Director Labour GB in their opening remarks appreciated the training as a means of improving the competencies of inspectorates to efficiently carry out labour inspection.

Inspection System as a means of promoting labour laws compliance was an essential condition for preventing catastrophic industrial accidents, safeguarding labour rights and improving industrial harmony in a country. The Dutch funded project is currently implementing a nationwide training program for labour inspection staff. The program has trained nine cohorts totalling 266 labour inspectors (Male261, Females-5) from Balochistan, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, AJK, ICT and GB. The program will train an additional four cohorts in Punjab province.

Mr. Zishan Siddiqi-National Project Coordinator for the Strengthening Labour Inspection System in Pakistan project stated that having a stronger Labour


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Stakeholder dialogue on socially responsible enterprises and Employers Federation of Pakistan With the technical assistance of the International Labor Organization (ILO), the Employers’ Federation of Pakistan (EFP) convened a Stakeholders’ Dialogue on EFP’s National Business Agenda and the Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy Declaration (MNE Declaration). The event brought together about two hundred participants including the Honourable Minister for Labor, Information and Transport, Government of Sindh, Mr. Syed Nasir Hussain Shah, who officiated as the Chief Guest, Mr. Toshikazu Isomura, Consul General of Japan in Karachi as the Guest of Honor and Dr. Arshad Vohra, Deputy Mayor of Karachi. The Minister for Labor, Information and Transport Mr. Syed Nasir Hussain Shah hailed the positive efforts of the federation in bringing the business community together on issues of labor and social compliance. He also announced a contribution of Rs. 2.5 million to help EFP develop the Sindhi translation of ILO-ITC OSH training module, which has been introduced in Pakistan with the technical assistance of ILO and The Dutch Employers Cooperation Programme (DECP).

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Mr. Toshikazu Isomura, Consul General of Japan in Karachi expressed his satisfaction on the outcomes of the Project on ‘More and Better Jobs through Socially Responsible Labor Practices in Asia (Pakistan) – Phase II’. The Project is funded by the Government of Japan through the Social Safety Net Fund, under the ILO/Japan Multi-bilateral Programme. He expressed the hope that the lessons learnt from the Project would lead to more intensive efforts to help industry growth in Sialkot and beyond. Mr. Majyd Aziz, President EFP made a special mention of the launch of the ‘Skills Pakistan 2020’ initiative to produce 2000 skilled persons in next three years. At the event, EFP also launched the National Business Agenda containing solutions to economic and social challenges. Ms. Ingrid Christensen, Director, ILO Country Office for Pakistan high-

lighted that EFP with the technical assistance of ILO and funding from the Government of Japan was actively implementing the above-mentioned joint Project in coordination with other stakeholders to promote and strengthen socially responsible labor practices in the supply chain of the multinational enterprises (MNEs) and their suppliers in the sports goods manufacturing sector. During the occasion, EFP announced the winners of the 5th Employers’ of the Year Award 2016 to companies demonstrating good practices in the area of management, human resources and employment, working conditions, labor laws compliance, corporate social responsibility, adherence to social protection floors and/or the principles of MNE Declaration. Among the awardees were five sportsgoods manufacturing companies from Sialkot.

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Fair recruitment initiative in Pakistan

Recruitment is an integral part of labor migration. Promoting fair recruitment, in line with international human rights and labor standards, will reduce the hardships faced by workers going abroad for various forms of employment, and improve migration outcomes for migrant workers as well as for countries of origin and destination. Pakistan is a major labor-sending country and is part of ILO’s ‘Global Action to Improve the Recruitment Framework of Labor Migration’ (REFRAME) project, funded by the European Union. A national consultation was held in Islamabad on 11 October 2017 to discuss identified challenges and priorities for action and implementation modalities of the new project. The event was attended by senior Government officials, employers, workers, academia, overseas employment promoters and international development partners. Mr. Manzoor Kayani, Joint Secretary (Emigration), Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource development highlighted objectives of the Policy which covers 3 main areas: promotion of overseas employment for Pakistani workers; welfare of migrant workers and their families both at destination and at origin and return and re-

integration of migrant workers. The Chief Technical Adviser of the Project, Ms. Maria Gallotti said that as part of the Fair Recruitment Initiative, REFRAME has been designed as a global, multi stakeholder project aimed at reducing abusive practices and violations of human and labor rights and enhancing the protection of migrant workers during the recruitment process, hence maximizing their contribution to development. The ILO Representative, Ms. Belinda Chanda said that migrant workers contribute to growth and development in their countries of destination, while countries of origin greatly benefit from the remittances and skills acquired during their migration experience. Yet, the migration process implies complex challenges in terms of governance, migrant workers’ protection, migration and development linkages, and international cooperation. The participants identified a number of issues affecting the recruitment

process including capacity of state institutions, high cost of migration, limited mechanism for effective access to justice for migrant workers, gender disparities in labor participation and in migration processes, lack of awareness among intending migrants about rights and legal channels, lack of skills and lack of information about overseas labor market. The consultation concluded with prioritizing focused interventions at policy as well as operational levels to improve recruitment processes for Pakistani migrant workers. The ultimate beneficiaries of the project will be female and male migrant workers who will benefit through the pilot interventions which will include policy and legislative reform, capacity building of relevant actors, awareness–raising activities and better access to information on recruitment channels and practices.


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Mainstreaming human mobility Increasing human mobility in Pakistan and throughout South Asia has a complex association with other important aspects of development in the region, such as climate change, sustainability, and disaster risk reduction. For this reason, experts and policymakers convened in Islamabad to share ideas and research regarding the important relationship between development, human movement, and natural resources. The Global Climate Risk Index for 2017 ranks Pakistan 7th on its list of countries most affected by natural hazards from 1996–2015. The country’s diverse topography, coupled with variations in the climatic conditions across regions makes it highly susceptible to natural hazards. Several factors influence Pakistan’s ability to anticipate and bounce back from disaster, such as poverty, intense pressure on natural resources, ineffective urban planning measures, uneven development in disaster prone areas, and insufficient awareness regarding disaster risk. Human mobility manifests in various forms in communities affected by disasters and environmental change: evacuation, planned relocation, migration as adaptation,

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temporary or protracted displacement, and internal or cross-border movement, among others. However, human mobility continues to exist in the periphery of policy discourse associated with climate change and disaster risk reduction. A workshop entitled ‘National Consultation on Mainstreaming Human Mobility in Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction Plans,’ was organized by World Wildlife Fund-Pakistan, the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), and the International Organization for Migration at Serena Hotel in Islamabad, Pakistan from 16–17 October. The consultation provided a platform for stakeholders to share their experience of human mobility in the context of disasters and climate change; to identify gaps in capacity, knowledge, and policy; and to explore means to synergize ways in which different national institutions

address human mobility in policies on climate change and disaster risk reduction. Rab Nawaz, Senior Director, Programmes, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF); Abdul Wahid Jasra, Country Representative, the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD); and Eric Peasah, Humanitarian Operations Manager, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Pakistan, emphasized the need to integrate human mobility in climate change adaptation (CCA) and disaster risk reduction (DRR) plans. The workshop concluded with recommendations to improve inter-agency coordination on human mobility, mobilize funding at different administrative levels, and strengthen institutional capacities for better governance.

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refugees and displaced persons

First ever refugee school in Punjab formally upgraded, affiliated with board Ms. Aqeela Asifi – the 2015 Nansen Refugee Award winner – has successfully completed her education project in Kot Chandna refugee village, Mianwali district in Punjab, benefiting over 200 female students. The government of Punjab has formally upgraded the Community Girls Model School No 2, which is being run by Aqeela Asifi. This middle-school has been expanded to a high-school by including 9th and 10th grade classes for refugee students. With the Nansen award money, Ms. Aqeela Asifi implemented the education project: additional classrooms and a new science laboratory were built and equipped with beakers, charts, models, microscopes and tubes. A small library was also established for students. The Punjab Vocational Training Council (PVTC) executed a skills development programme for the refugee female students. As many as 42 pupils successfully completed the five-month training courses in basic computer and tailoring. Speaking at the project completion ceremony, the UN refugee agency Representative in Pakistan, Ms. Ruvendrini Menikdiwela lauded the efforts and dedication of Ms. Aqeela

Asifi for the promotion of education for Afghan refugee girls in Pakistan. She appreciated the Government of Pakistan and Punjab for not only hosting Afghan refugees, but also creating an enabling environment for learning and skills building. Commissioner Afghan Refugees, Punjab, Mr. Riaz Chaudhry said that the Government has been making efforts to ensure Afghan refugees have access to education, skills training and health services in Pakistan. Ms. Aqeela Asifi said many girl students had to stay home after completion of grade 8 as there were no higher secondary schools in the entire camp. Owing to the upgrading of the school, now a first batch of around 14 students are enrolled in Grade 9. With the five-month computer and

tailoring training, Aqeela said female students are now able to earn a decent living. The students used to purchase clothes in open market at Rs.2000 (USD20), now they can stitch their clothes for themselves, for families and neighbours. She feels relieved and glad to see her students are fulfilling their dreams. The ceremony was attended by representatives from the Norwegian Embassy, Government and Punjab Vocational Training (PVTC). Elders and students of Kot Chandna refugee village were also present at the occasion. Certificates were distributed to the students who participated in the vocational skills training at the occasion.


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Assisting the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Government to develop a Youth Employment Framework Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is lagging behind all other provinces in terms of Youth Employment and there is a dire need to develop a comprehensive and integrated Youth Employment Strategy to reverse the trend. This was stated by the ILO during the first Provincial Consultation on Youth Employment in Peshawar. The Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) in collaboration with the Prime Minister’s Youth Programme (PMYP) and International Labour Organization (ILO) organized a Provincial Consultative workshop on ‘Youth Employment Framework’ on 29 August in Peshawar. The workshop was attended by the Government departments from KP, United Nations’ agencies, Academia, Civil Society Organizations, Youth-led organizations and youth representing KP, ILO’s Technical Specialist on Youth Employment, Mr. Matthieu Conganc from the Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok also participated in the workshop. In his bullah rector nical

welcome remarks, Mr. MoniKhan Khattak, Managing DiKhyber Pakhtunkhwa TechEducation and Vocational

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Training Authority (TEVTA) said that the role of Youth in development of any country could not be neglected, particularly in the case of Pakistan where over 60 percent of the population is below the age of 30. He urged their engagement and involvement in policy-making, implementation and monitoring. He also underlined the role of industry in prompting opportunities for Youth Employment. In his address, Mr. Makhdoom Adeel-ur-Rehman- Chief Coordinator, Prime Minister’s Youth Programme (PMYP) congratulated the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the International Labour Organization, and said that youth were an important labour-market segment in any country, and especially in the case of Pakistan. The country is undergoing a demographic transition, whereby the share of the working-age population (especially youth) is increasing faster relative to the other age groups. He emphasized the need to bring synergies in the work of all stakeholders on Youth Employment for visible impact. The ILO Representative, Mr. Kazim Shuaib highlighted major issues in Youth Employment such as underemployment, vulnerable employment and unproductive jobs that need to be addressed. He emphasized on investing in developing

policies and action plans for Youth Employment and to identify new avenues for Youth Employment. In his presentation, Mr. Matthieu Congnac, Youth Employment Specialist from ILO-Bangkok, shared ILO’s international experience on Youth Employment. The statistics on Youth Employment situation in Pakistan and KP was also shared with participants. Youth from KP discussed their challenges and opportunities under the seven thematic areas of the National Youth Employment Framework. They also shared their views and ideas on how to address these issues. Similar consultations on Youth Employment Framework are also planned in other provinces and regions of the country in coming months.

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Developing a youth employment strategy Punjab is Pakistan’s largest province and has the highest youth population, which translates into a higher unemployment rate (9.51%). This situation calls for a coherent and integrated Youth Employment Strategy to make a visible impact. This was the conclusion of the Provincial Consultation on Youth Employment in Lahore on 18 October 2017. The Government of Punjab in collaboration with the Prime Minister’s Youth Programme (PMYP) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) organized the second Provincial Consultative workshop on Youth Employment, attended by the Government departments from Punjab, United Nations’ agencies, Academia, Civil Society Organizations, Youth-led organizations and the youth representing Punjab. Mr. Aamir Jan Secretary, Youth Affairs, Sports, Archaeology and Tourism Government of Punjab highlighted the importance of youth as an asset for development of the country and province. He called for the proper guidance of young women and men in developing their careers according to their skills, capabilities and aspirations. He also said that the capacity building needs of the relevant stakeholders needed to be identified

and fulfilled, particularly for the government departments responsible for implementing youth employment strategies with the assured support of the Government of Punjab. Mr. Zahid Hussain, Additional Secretary Youth Affairs, Sports, Archaeology and Tourism department Government of Punjab shared the initiatives taken by the Punjab Government to promote youth employment that seek to include them in the development of the province. He also stated that the government was aware of the challenges faced by the youth and was fully committed to overcoming these with the support of national and international development partners. The ILO Senior Programme Officer, Mr. Saad Gilani, highlighted the major challenges including underemployment, vulnerable employment and unproductive jobs that needed to be addressed. Mr. Gilani said that under Pakistan’s Decent Work Country Programme (2016-2020), ILO was providing technical and financial support to social partners (Employers, Workers and Government of Pakistan) to create an enabling decent working environment for youth and would continue its support in this regard. Participants provided detailed feedback and inputs on the proposed Youth Employment Framework for Punjab and fully endorsed the process for its implementation. Ms. Gulalai Khan, Head of Commu-

nications Planning and Development Department Government of Punjab assured participants that the Government of Punjab, with the support of relevant government departments and other stakeholders would take the agenda of youth employment and empowerment forward. Similar consultations on Youth Employment Framework are also planned in other provinces and regions of the country in coming months. ILO’s collaboration with Prime Minister Youth Programme to formulate youth employment framework is an example of on-going efforts to create decent work opportunities for youth.


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Female students and international experts celebrate United Nations Day 2017

Students from Fatima Jinnah Women University celebrated United Nations Day with female ambassadors, heads of cooperation agencies and heads of UN agencies. Some 120 students interacted directly with the international experts and received advice on best practices for a successful international career. After the introductory remarks by Dr. Samina Amin Qadir, Vice Chancellor of the Fatima Jinnah Women University and by Vittorio Cammarota, Director UN Information Centre, the

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group of influential women shared their personal experiences together with information on useful skills to develop for having access to the diplomatic services and to international careers. After the discussion, representatives of each group of students shared the outcomes of their discussions and inspirational learning experiences. The international experts included: H.E. Dr. Brigitta Blaha, Ambassador of Austria, Ms. Stefanie Burri, Head of the Swiss Development Coopera-

tion, Ms. Ingrid Christensen, Country Director at ILO, Ms. Vibeke Jensen, Director at UNESCO, H.E. Ms. Ingrid Johannson, Ambassador of Sweden, Ms. Anne Marchal, Minister Counsellor at the European Union Delegation to Pakistan, Ms. Ruvendrini Menikdiwela, Country Representative at UNHCR, Ms. Santa Molè, Head of the Italian Cooperation, H.E. Ms. Ardi Stoios–Braken, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Gender equality is central to the 2030 Agenda of Sustainable Development,

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the global plan agreed by leaders of all countries to meet the challenges we face. According to the statistics, globally, women only make 77 cents for every dollar earned by men for work of equal value. The gap is even wider when it comes to the presence of women in the leadership roles In fact, the number of women decreases as the seniority level of the role increases. The Secretary-General of the United Nations, AntĂłnio Guterres, recently launched his new strategy on gender parity, as a start to a system-wide campaign to advance this priority at the United Nations. The strategy provides a roadmap to reach parity at the senior levels of leadership by 2021, and ultimately in 2028 across the board.

It was a great experience for all of us. We learnt that gender disparity is a universal issue. We can achieve equality for both the sexes if home becomes the ground for teaching equality. Later equal education system for all strata of society, circulation of wealth, constant progress in career, openness in our opinion and acceptance of opposing views. For all this, women networking is a key. Women must be supportive of other women and not be a hindrance for the same gender, because if we stand united no one can look down upon us. Syeda Natasha Islam Department of Communication and Media Studies, Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi

My message to all the girls out there afraid to rise up against oppression is, DON’T BE AFRAID. Know that your voice can give others the courage to make a difference. Know that your silence can be as destructive as pulling the trigger. So speak up for yourself, but most importantly for those who can’t. Quratulain Department of Defense and Diplomatic Studies , Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi


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In a world, where we measure wellbeing and progress by GDP and economic growth, the goods and services women provide remain unaccounted for. Unless the same opportunities are provided to men and women, sustainable economic growth and social development will remain a distant goal, thereby fading gender parity and women empowerment.

We had a wonderful interactive session with Ms. Vibeke Jensen. She shared her experience as a working woman, who travels all over the world for a worthy cause mainly promoting female education. She advised us to never be narrow minded in our careers, as one always learns something from the opportunity that knocks their door.

Afshan Ejaz Department of Economics, Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi

Momina Tahir Department: Communication and media Studies, Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi

Today I have learnt from Ms. Ann Marshal (European Union delegation) how to overcome difficulties while achieving goals. She gave us guidelines and tips regarding role of women in international careers by sharing her own life experience. She also motivated us to never give up on our dreams and be passionate about our goals. There is no role that women can’t play so be aware about different platforms to achieve your dreams. Saira Javed Department of Communication and media Studies, Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi

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Our interaction with the guest Ms. Rovenzeri from Sri Lanka was focused on issues of refugees. We also discussed that most of the refugees are women and they are more vulnerable to issues such as rape, discrimination, violence etc. She also shared her own experience as an Asian woman, that women are stereotyped because of their race and ethnicity. Empowering women can be the key strategy to overcome women’s issues. If women fight for themselves and get out of their shells they can make a difference. Nishat Fatima Department of Gender Studies, Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi

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We had an amazing and interesting discussion with Ms. Brigitta Blaha, Ambassador of Austria, on Women empowerment. Women in Pakistan face many financial problems along with social restrictions, yet we have many successful ladies like Samina Baig and Marium Mukhtaar who excelled despite all these Challenges with their rock-solid commitment. Diversity is the beauty of Pakistan we must embrace it, celebrate it and promote a pluralistic society.

We discussed women labor with reference to formal and informal economy. A majority of women are in the informal economy, which is not regulated by state laws and policies. We emphasized on solutions to overcome the issues of women. Every woman should claim her agency and awareness. Sobia Ibrahim Department of Gender Studies , Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi

Behind every woman is a tribe of other successful women, who have her back. I’ve realized the accuracy of the quote after discussing the subject of women empowerment with the ambassador of Netherlands, Ms. Arter Barker. I look up to her as my inspiration and see my future self as an independent, empowered lady. Sara Bano Department of English , Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi

Mehreen Fazal Department of English, Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi


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Pakistan celebrates the 72 anniversary of the United Nations nd

The United Nations in Pakistan organized an event to celebrate the 72nd Anniversary of the United Nations. All staff members, member states, the diplomatic community and government counterparts were invited to take part in the festivities. On the occasion, Mr. Neil Buhne, the UN Resident Coordinator in Pakistan remarked that the country has a wealth of diversity among its people: scientists, activists, Nobel Prize winners, hard working men and women, a military that has contributed to the top leadership in UN peacekeeping, dedicated and skilled federal and provincial civil servants, many of whom could work anywhere – and do with the UN. He observed how it was fitting that the theme for this year’s UN Day was ‘Potential in Diversity’. Mr. Neil Buhne further highlighted that the UN is privileged to partner with the government to build strength from this diversity and to overcome the shared challenges. Some of this work includes: dramatically reducing Polio in partnership; extensive work on nutrition; helping hundreds of thousands of people dislocated to return to FATA and helping them rebuild their lives; helping Pakistan host refugees and migrants; supporting women to enjoy equal rights; supporting Pakistani producers to meet international standards and export more;

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and doing all this in the frame of the Sustainable Development Goals – including equality, the environment and sustained peace and justice. This event also commemorated the service of those staff members who have served with the United Nations for more than twenty-five years and their commitment to service was recognized and awarded. Staff members also renewed their Oath of Office as part of the programme. Mr. Arif Ahmed Khan, Secretary Economic Affairs Division, expressed that partnering with the UN is important to help advance Pakistan’s development objectives and priorities. The Government, the UN, and the people of Pakistan promise to continue to work together to fur-

ther prosperity, peace and improve the lives of future generations.

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UN Day 2017 Celebrations - UNODC/ UNWOMEN joint team won the cricket tournament In connection with the United Nations Day celebrations in Pakistan, the United Nations country team and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) organized a sports gala, comprised of football and cricket tournaments in October. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), a firm believer in the power of sports for peace and crime prevention, invited UN Women to join them. A team of six UNODC and five UN Women players participated in a cricket tournament with six other teams. The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the World Food Programme (WFP), UNICEF, the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP), the host organization UNDP and the team of UNODC and UN Women all played to win the tournament. In their league matches, the UNODC and UN Women team played against UNDP and UNMOGIP and qualified for the semi-finals stage of the tournament. The UNODC and UN Women team defeated UNICEF Pakistan in the semi-finals. The final was played against WFP Pakistan in a thrilling atmosphere. The UNODC and UN Women team held their nerves until the last moment and won the match. The tournament was played in a fraternal atmosphere and a good

sporting spirit. On the cricket field, the players proved themselves as great ambassadors of their respective agencies. The UNODC and UN Women team was awarded a trophy by the United Nations Resident Coordinator in

Pakistan Mr. Neil Buhne in front of the United Nations family in Islamabad on the United Nations Day, 24 October 2017.


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Arrival of new UNHCR’s representative in Pakistan The new representative for the UN refugee agency in Pakistan, Ms. Ruvendrini Menikdiwela has taken on her responsibilities. She succeeded Mr. Indrika Ratwatte, who has become UNHCR’s Regional Bureau Director for Asia and Pacific based in Geneva. Prior to taking up her assignment in Pakistan, Ms. Ruvendrini was UNHCR’s Representative in Thailand. Her career with UNHCR spans over 27 years – with extensive leadership experience in a range of roles at UNHCR Headquarters and in the field in different countries. Holding an LLB and LLM in European Community and Public International Law from the University of Paris, Ms. Ruvendrini has vast operational experience in emergencies and complex situations. She has said she is delighted to be taking over as the Representative of UNHCR in Pakistan and to work closely with the government and other stakeholders in her objectives. Pakistan continues to host approximately 1.4 million Afghan refugees. Since 2002, UNHCR has facilitated the return of approximately 4.2 million registered Afghans from Pakistan. UNHCR’s priority in Pakistan is to achieve lasting solutions for one of the largest and most protracted refugee situations in the world.

United Nations Pakistan | Magazine


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UN Corners: Engaging youth and enhancing knowledge about United Nations

Millions of Pakistani students across the country are getting fulltime access to information on the work of the United Nations through the UN Corners that have been placed in their universities. UN Corner is a joint initiative of the United Nations Information Centre, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Higher Education Commission (HEC) serve as repository of newsletters, journals, reports, magazines and books published by the UN Secretariat and the agencies, funds and programmes of the UN System. The UN has long recognized that youth is one of the key agents for social change, economic growth

and technological progress. UN Corner is a concrete example of engaging and providing them opportunities to increase their knowledge about human rights and activities of the United Nations in Pakistan and at global level. The concept was conceived and designed by the students of faculty of architecture of a well-reputed Pakistani university through a competitive process. Production of the bookcases of UN Corners is also done by a Pakistani Company. First inaugurated in COMSATS in 2016, the UN Corners have now been opened in some 24 public and government universities in Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Haripur, Abbottabad, Muzaffarabad and Quet-

ta during this year. The aim is to open around 50 UN corners by the end of this year in other locations. The UN Corners are updated regularly with new publications from UN agencies that will be managed through a network of librarians connected to the focal point for the project at the UN Information Centre. In order to ensure the full involvement of the students, universities will be asked to appoint them on a rotational basis in the management of UN corner. Those participating will be acknowledged with internships in the United Nations.


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UN Cinema screened ‘Nice People’ to mark International Day of Peace The UN Cinema marked the International Day of Peace by screening a prestigious Swedish award-winning documentary film, ‘Nice People’ on 21 September 2017 at the Pakistan National Council of Arts in Islamabad. Directed by Anders Helgeson and Karin af Klintberg, the story develops when a predominantly white community of the rural Swedish town of Borlänge (whose town slogan is “Nice People”) is confronted by the influx of Somalis who have fled the war and come to live in Sweden, where integration has proven to be difficult. Nice People outlined the inspiration of Borlänge’s local entrepreneur Patrik Andersson, who has the idea of using sports to bridge gaps, and helps to integrate the Somali immigrants into the community. The film portrayed the struggle of Somalian men to prove themselves worthy Swedes. They learn bandy from former player Per Fosshaug and figure skater Cia Embretsen, who teach them the sport from its most basic steps, which turns into the inevitable celebration of the World Championship bandy games. Viewers liked the documentary and appreciated its message of intercultural harmony, using sports as

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a strong tool for bringing people together and the value of culture, sport, and self-representation to break barriers and empowering communities UN Cinema is a joint initiative of the UN Information Centre and the Pakistan National Council of Arts (PNCA) which aimed at raising awareness on development and humanitarian issues among the general public.

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Revealed: Himalayan Meltdown highlights climate threats

UN Cinema screened a documentary film ‘Revealed: Himalayan Meltdown’, in partnership with UNDP, UNIC and Pakistan National Council of the Arts in Islamabad. The film won the prestigious Platinum Award in the broadcast documentary category at the 45th annual Worldfest International Film Festival, the oldest independent film festival in the world. The documentary which is co-produced by UNDP, Discovery Asia, and Arrowhead Films revealed that more than 50,000 glaciers are rapidly shrinking in the Hima-

layan mountain region threatening billions of lives and livelihoods throughout Asia, particularly in Pakistan, China, Nepal, Bangladesh, India and Bhutan. The film examined how communities in this region seek to adapt to their shrinking mountain habitat which contains 40 percent of the earth’s fresh water and is a critical source for irrigation, drinking water and energy to some 1.3 billion people. Assistant Country Director, UNDP Amanullah Khan also briefed the viewers and shared with them the real challenges of the melting glaciers in Himalayan Mountains and climate change threats to the region.

UNDP stressed that developing countries who are more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change must adapt to the changing climate and be prepared for an uncertain tomorrow. The documentary helped viewers to better understand climate change and the contributions of the UN System and development partners to mitigate the matter. UN Cinema is bringing world eminent documentary films for the Pakistani people to deepen their understanding and raise awareness on development and humanitarian issues.


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Driving forward regional health The 64th session of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Committee for the Eastern Mediterranean – a region that includes Pakistan – was hosted in Islamabad on 10-12 October. Over the three days, ministers of health and their representatives discussed important public health priorities for countries of the Region. The session was also attended by more than 250 public health leaders and experts, including representatives of national, regional and international organizations. In his welcoming address, the President of Pakistan, HE Mamnoon Hussain, called on the international community to cooperate willingly to address the challenges faced, putting aside political matters, so that a comprehensive strategy can be devised to control the spread of infectious diseases and other public health threats. Dr. Mahmoud Fikri, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean, also spoke at the introductory session. Sadly, just a few days after the Regional Committee, Dr. Fikri died on his way to another WHO meeting. At his speech in Islamabad, he emphasized that health should be at the center of development, focusing on the right to health, equity, fairness, universality and solidarity. With the Region experiencing an unprecedented increase in the magnitude

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and scale of crises, such as in Syria and Yemen, humanitarian emergencies were also prominent on the first day’s agenda. Refugees in the Region has reached 15.7 million and 18 million people were internally displaced. Population movement was overwhelming health systems of host communities and neighboring countries, and in some cases, reversing health gains. In response, the WHO Health Emergency Programme had mobilized US$293 million and delivered 920 tons of health supplies but the funding gap remained at US$200 million. Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, spoke about some of the conflict and violence facing countries in the Eastern Mediterranean Region. Dr. Tedros spoke about his individual experiences of visiting Yemen in July 2017, which he said left him inspired and proud to see the difference that WHO and our partners are making. H.E. Ms. Saira Afzal Tarar, Pakistan’s Federal Minister of National Health Ser-

vices, Regulations and Coordination, also spoke at the introduction session. She said that provision of health care is the foundation of development of human society. During the introductory session, success in Pakistan and around the region were celebrated. Dr. Ghebreyesus talked about the cholera outbreak, where around 800,000 people have now been treated and the caseload is declining. During the introductory session, success in Pakistan and around the region were celebrated. Dr. Ghebreyesus talked about the cholera outbreak, where around 800,000 people have now been treated and the caseload is declining. Regional Director Dr. Fikri said: “I would like to seize this opportunity to commend the tireless effort of both governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan, who are striving to make us part of a polio-free world.”

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Annual report sets out Dr Fikri’s vision The late Dr. Mahmoud Fikri, WHO Regional Director presented the annual report on the work of the Regional Office in 2016. He focused on important milestones achieved and outlined WHO support for universal health coverage. He also drew attention to the new WHO health emergencies programme, which was expected to bolster WHO’s ability to respond to emergencies and outbreaks. He then focused on the regional roadmap that translated his vision into a set of strategic actions to guide WHO’s work with Member States for 2017‒2021. Through his five-year roadmap, Dr. Fikri said he aims to increase WHO’s capacity to meet the needs of Member States. Since his death, WHO is committed to delivering that roadmap as part of Dr Fikri’s legacy. Non-communicable diseases were given special attention during the day’s discussions. Dr. Tedros announced the establishment of a new high-level global commission on noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), to be chaired by Dr. Sania Nishtar from Pakistan. An update on polio eradication in Pakistan and Afghanistan in the Region highlighted the success

of polio supplementary immunization activities in 2017 in restricting transmission. Ensuring an end to polio transmission in Pakistan and Afghanistan in the coming low season and transmission in the Syrian Arab Republic remained a challenge. The session also endorsed a number of resolutions that impact the health of populations in countries in the region. In its final resolutions, the Regional Committee endorsed a regional framework for action on cancer prevention and control to scale up guidance to Member States. The Regional Committee endorsed a framework for action on climate change and health to guide the health sector response to climate change, in collaboration with other health- determining sectors, and build the resilience of health systems. Dr. Fikri also expressed appreci-

ation of the Health-in-all-Policies model and described the global school-based student health survey, designed to help countries measure and assess the behavioral risk factors and protective factors of young people as an important policy-making tool. A resolution on antimicrobial resistance was adopted by the Regional Committee, urging Member States to develop and endorse national action plans in alignment with the global action plan; establish a high-level coordination mechanism and allocating adequate resources; and to develop and enforce policies and regulations to prevent purchase of antibiotics without prescription.


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Opening address for the 64th Regional Conference of the World Health Organization Extracts from the opening address at the 64th WHO regional conference by the President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, H.E Mr. Mamnoon Hussain. It was the first time that a head of state had addressed the WHO Regional Conference. I am confident that this conference will set the course for taking important decisions in terms of reviewing available services as well as provision of more facilities to the people with regard to the situation of health care and treatment in member countries which will open up new avenues for development in the field of health in the region. The organizers, the Ministry of Health and WHO deserve to be commended. I hope that these two organizations will continue to extend cooperation to each other for the progress and welfare of humanity in future as well. Our view regarding the provision of health care and treatment facilities to the people is based on positivity and farsightedness. It has been guaranteed in the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan that no one will be allowed to indulge in any action which may pose threat to human life. The Prime Minister’s Health Insurance Programme is a result of this vision of our elders under which the poor and low income segments will be able to avail the facility of free treatment from the public and private health institutions. This Programme, in terms of its utility and expan-

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sion, is so vast and efficient that certain friendly countries have expressed their desire to benefit from it which is an honor for us. Similarly, we are proud the way Pakistan played a leading role at the global level for providing prosthetic devices to affected people suffering from any physical disability. Due to wars and bloodshed, the fatal disease of Polio has emerged as a major threat in the region which has also affected Pakistan along-with the neighboring countries. Our Ministry of Health, the provinces, public and private institutions worked diligently to safeguard the children from disability, and the situation in Pakistan has considerably improved. I am confident that we will be able to completely overcome this fatal disease in a very short period. We are playing our part more than our capacity but at the same time it is also important that in such cases the international community should adopt a considerate approach instead of being discriminatory so that the concerted efforts could be made to tackle the challenges being faced by the mankind. I hope that WHO and the countries of this region will play their role efficiently as most of our problems are identical.

The spread of polio has also taught the world that diseases cannot be limited to geographical boundaries. In such situations it is imperative that the international community, especially the regional countries should cooperate willingly to face these challenges but sometimes political or non-political matters become hurdles. Therefore, it is necessary that such attitude be discouraged and cooperation be promoted so that a comprehensive strategy can be devised to control the spread of infectious diseases by setting aside all differences. There is still a huge gap between the developed and underdeveloped world in matters of resources, lifestyles and availability of healthcare facilities. In order to end these differences we need to invest more in this sector. The people of many Third World countries are facing issues such as malnutrition, food shortage and environmental pollution due to lack of resources which deeply affect medical diagnoses and procedure. It is important that WHO and allied organizations formulate policies keeping in view the ground realities and issues of different regions as well as inform the institutions which are unaware of these problems. H.E Mr. Mamnoon Hussain President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan

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Setting out priorities for global health The Director-General of the WHO sets out his vision for the priorities for global health

The third priority is to drive progress towards the specific SDG health targets, focusing on improving the health of women, children and adolescents; ending the epidemics of HIV, tuberculosis, malaria and hepatitis; preventing premature deaths from noncommunicable diseases, including mental health; and protecting against the health impacts of climate change and environmental problems. My first mission to a WHO country programme was to Yemen. I will never forget the woman we met who had travelled for hours to bring her malnourished child to the clinic, begging the medical staff to care of it. Her story is just one among millions. It was a truly heart-breaking experience. But at the same time, I was inspired and proud to see the difference that WHO and our partners are making. Almost 800,000 people have now been treated for cholera. The caseload is declining. With our partners, we have set up more than 1,000 treatment centres and ensured safe drinking water for some 3.5 million people. WHO has been coordinating the efforts of more than 40 partners. But the situation remains dire. Ultimately, there will be no health security in Yemen until there is peace in Yemen. Despite the many difficulties there are reasons to cheer. We are closer than ever to wiping polio from the face of the earth. Only 11 cases of Wild Polio Virus have been reported globally so far, this year. We must stay the course and finish the job. In order to drive progress towards the

SDGs, we have identified four key priorities that will define our work. First, WHO’s core business is to help countries progress towards universal health coverage. I believe that health is a human right, and that universal health coverage is the best way to give people that right. It’s also an investment in reducing poverty, creating jobs, driving inclusive economic growth, promoting gender equality, and strengthening health security. The road to universal health coverage will be different for different countries. But for all countries it must be built on the foundation of delivering health services that are built around the needs of people, not providers, through strong primary care networks. The second priority is to strengthen global health security. When an outbreak becomes an epidemic, the world looks to WHO. We must accelerate towards being more responsive to emergencies. When disaster strikes, our partners expect us to be shoulder-to-shoulder with them on the frontlines. This is exactly what we have done and are doing in many countries in this region.

Finally, WHO must provide health leadership. The global health architecture is increasingly complex, and WHO has a crucial role to play in convening and coordinating the global health community to achieve shared goals. I know, and you know, that political will is the key ingredient for change. It is not the only ingredient, but without it, change is much harder to achieve. For a paradigm shift, we need political intervention. From the G20 in Hamburg to the General Assembly in New York last month, I have been very encouraged by the support I see for health at the highest political level. WHO should not be shy about engaging with world leaders. Our cause is too important; the stakes are too high. Meaningful change happens when political leaders are engaged. WHO must therefore not be afraid to go beyond the technical to the political in pursuit of its mission. I am excited about the work we have ahead of us, and the difference we can make to individuals, families, communities and entire nations. Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus Director-General, World Health Organisation, WHO regional committee for the Eastern Mediterranean


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The challenges for the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region In one of his final acts as Regional Director, Dr. Fikri gives his perspective on the priorities for the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region. A week after attending the 64th Regional Committee in Islamabad, Dr. Mahmoud Fikri sadly died on his way to the World Non-Communicable Disease Summit in Uruguay. He will be remembered as a great leader with a clear strategic vision for the EMRO region and commitment to helping those most in need all over the world. His many achievements will be remembered. Our thoughts and condolences go out to his grieving family, friends and colleagues. The UN Magazine Editorial team I am fully aware of your expectations and I will exert all efforts to fulfil the commitments I have made. I will ensure that WHO is on the frontline in providing health leadership in its technical support to countries of the Region and in focusing on the priorities to which I have committed. I have set out a roadmap that underpins my vision for my five-year mandate as Regional Director. I aim to increase WHO’s capacity to meet the needs of Member States by ensuring that WHO in the Region becomes increasingly effective, efficient, accountable and transparent. We are also facing increasing challenges in this region. Emergencies are destroying more lives than ever before. In 2017, almost 76 million people are directly or

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indirectly affected by political conflict, environmental threats, and natural disasters. Health security threats such as acute watery diarrhea and cholera, H5N1, MERS, and polio, are also increasingly placing vulnerable lives at risk. We will keep working closely with national health authorities and development partners, including UN agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and donors to coordinate the humanitarian activities, so together we can alleviate some of the pain and suffering of those affected. A lot of effort is being done in several areas of work across the Region but on top of all the Region is moving forward to finally eradicate the Polio disease. Sustained continuous support to all efforts of polio eradication, including frequent polio immunization campaigns in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Somalia need to be maintained. I would like to seize this opportunity to commend the tireless effort of both governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan, who are striving to make us part of a Polio free world. I would also like to like to congratulate Somalia on being three years Polio free and to applaud the efforts of the Somali president for backing the programme emphasizing once more the importance of political will. We have learnt a lot and we are more capable than before to have more successful stories. Measles elimination is our next target. Together we can do it. I know how tremendously committed our leaders are in this region. I have seen this clearly during my meetings with some of them. I had the pleasure to meet the Presidents or Prime Ministers of Sudan, Tunisia, Morocco, Lebanon, Somalia,

UAE and of course His Excellency Mr. Hussain, the President of Pakistan. In conclusion, I want to emphasize that we must place health at the center of development, focusing on the right to health, equity, fairness, universality and solidarity. We must see health as the smartest thing to invest in, which yields high returns. We must secure political commitment to achieve the sustainable development goals, and truly we must leave no one behind. Today, I feel very optimistic that, with the high commitments of all of you, we can make an end to poliomyelitis from our region. We can say for sure that the world will be Polio free very soon. Dr Mahmoud Fikri Regional Director, WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region

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Pakistan’s Health programme and priorities The WHO representative in Pakistan gives his assessment of healthcare in Pakistan. Working with WHO and other partners, Pakistan has made significant strides in improving its healthcare over the last few years. A better healthcare system, increases in the number of healthcare delivery units and, most of all, a shift in political will federally and in provinces have all made a difference to the health service many people in Pakistan receive. There are still many challenges - financial, geographic and security, but in many areas, we are heading in the right direction. Polio eradication is the priority for Pakistan. Eradication of Polio depends on sustained and high routine Immunization coverage against vaccine preventable diseases. According to WHO estimates, in 2015 more than 1.67 million infants in Pakistan did not receive their third dose of DTP vaccine. During the last few years, the Government has been fully committed to increasing vaccination coverage, however challenges such as access to unreached population, a moving population and congested pre-urban areas remain as major barriers. However, we are right to be optimistic - in just three years, the number of recorded cases have gone from over 300 to - so far, this year under 10. That is a massive achievement, but we will keep working with Pakistan to eradicate polio forever. Pakistan is facing a double burden

of diseases, while TB, Malaria and Hepatitis still kill many people, and non-communicable diseases are respious parts of the country call for strong disease surveillance and responses that Federal Ministry of National Health Services, regulations and coordination has already initiated with support of partners. The program needs a strong public health laboratory services for timely diagnosis of outbreaks and improving health system information system. WHO supports national and provincial governments to implement emergency preparedness and response plans, development of guidelines and relevant standard operating procedures. Pakistan has long-term challenges around the health of its people, but at WHO we have seen the political will of the Pakistani government, its provinces and its peoples to tackle those challenges together. The massive reduction in the number of people suffering from polio in Pakistan, the changes to the health system

and the improvements in services to some of the poorest people in the country have all shown what we can achieve together. Dr Mohammad Assai Ardakani WHO Representative in Pakistan


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The health challenges facing the Eastern Mediterranean region The Syrian Arab Republic is in crisis, and is one of the biggest challenges facing WHO. WHO has provided 9.4 million treatments through distribution of health kits, medicines and medical supplies, supported 6 million consultations and vaccinated 2 million children in three national polio campaigns. 17,826 national health staff have been trained in areas including trauma care, mental health care and nutrition, and 20 fully equipped ambulances were provided. In 2016, WHO supported the first national multi-antigen immunization campaign since the beginning of the crisis, with a focus on children under 15 years in hard to reach and besieged areas. More than 500,000 children were reached from inside Syria and cross-border from Turkey. WHO also reached all 18 besieged areas in the country, and 30 percent of all deliveries of medicines and medical supplies were to hard-to-reach, opposition-controlled, and besieged areas. WHO also developed a medical evacuation plan for eastern Aleppo and supported the evacuation of 811 patients from hospitals in Idleb, western Aleppo to Turkey. Tragically, attacks on health facilities continue, and more than half of all public hospitals and primary health care centres have closed or are only partially functioning. The Government with-

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holding approvals for delivery of medical supplies and equipment (including blood and blood products) to hard-toreach and besieged areas and the lack of funding are both major challenges In 2017, WHO aims to align developmental and humanitarian work plans to establish clearer links between humanitarian and recovery/resilience interventions (as per the UN Strategic Framework for Syria). The team also wants to enhance trauma care/mass casualty management; Sustain delivery of Primary Health Care; Reinforce polio eradication activities and immunizations; and Establish quality water supplies

Health profile - Syria refugee response The Syrian refugee crisis has had a significant impact around the region.

In 2016, 1.1 million children in Jordan were vaccinated in the national polio campaign, 163,780 patients in Lebanon treated for chronic diseases, 100,000 were beneficiaries in Jordan of health kits, medicines and supplies, and 72,500 were beneficiaries in Iraq

of lifesaving medicines, including for chronic diseases. 342 Syrians in Egypt were treated for life-threatening medical emergencies, fully covered by WHO. In 2016, WHO trained 604 healthcare staff from primary health care facilities in Lebanon on surveillance of priority diseases (polio, measles, rubella and cholera); Developed 7 health contingency plans at governorate level in Lebanon to ensure an efficient and coordinated response to health emergencies; and Integrated all 8 camps hosting Syrian refugees into the early warning disease surveillance system in Iraq. Lack of funding, high mobility and a changing population all make the work particularly challenging, but in 2017 WHO aims to continue its important work. It is supporting primary, secondary, and tertiary health services in camps, rural and urban settings and reinforcing the capacity of national health systems; Increasing access to reproductive and new-born health services, routine immunization, trauma and rehabilitation, care for the disabled, mental health, outbreak control, management of noncommunicable diseases and nutrition services; Building robust health information systems and logistics networks that include Syrian refugees to ensure the health response continues to be as needs-based as possible; and ensure equitable access to quality and continuous care regardless of refugee status.

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Health profile – Iraq The health challenges in Iraq are significant, but WHO’s is delivering health support on a large scale.

In 2016, 1.1 million people provided with direct access to essential medicines, 5.8 million consultations supported, 5.8 million children vaccinated in three national polio campaigns; 684,195 children vaccinated against measles; and 699,256 children under five screened for malnutrition. In 2016, WHO established and fully equipped three trauma stabilization points in Gogjali, Al Zahra and Karamlees in Ninewa for referrals from Mosul; Provided medical equipment and devices to 11 main hospitals in six governorates; Established 9 Primary Health Care Centres in camps and informal settlements in Iraq; and provided 33 health caravans to camps and health facilities to expand health service delivery in camps and informal settlements. The insecurity in Iraq makes access to many camps and internally displaced persons very difficult, limits time spent in the field and increases operational costs, while inadequate availability of skilled human resources for health at the governorates, and health facility level to deliver health services for people in the newly liberated areas. WHO Priorities for 2017 is to strengthen the Ministry of Health and

Departments of Health’s capacities to prepare and respond to emergencies; Increase WHO’s presence and support to newly liberated areas and sites hosting internally displaced persons; Conduct emergency immunization campaigns targeting measles and polio; and strengthen disease surveillance and early warning systems.

Health profile – Yemen The significant violence in Yemen is putting its health service under a major challenge.

In 2016, 3 million beneficiaries of health kits, medicines and medical supplies provided; 4.5 million children immunized against polio; 2.4 million children immunized against measles; 20 million litres of water delivered to health facilities, camps and areas hosting displaced persons; 2 million litres of fuel delivered to hospitals and other health facilities; 1,500+ children under five treated for severe acute malnutrition at WHO supported therapeutic feeding centres; and 537 tonnes of medicines and medical delivered to health facilities in all governorates. In 2016, WHO provided overall coordination of the humanitarian health response by leading the Health Cluster comprising 42 partner organizations; trained and


deployed 28 mobile teams and 29 fixed facility teams to 11 governorates to provide primary health care services and surgical interventions; conducted five rounds of integrated outreach activities in remote and rural areas, providing more than 250,000 children with nutrition, immunization and other health services, vaccinating 85,000 pregnant women and women of childbearing age against tetanus; and supported establishing 26 Diarrhoea Treatment Centres in response to a cholera outbreak announced in September 2016. Almost 55% of health facilities closed or only partially functioning, with serious shortages of health staff, medicines, medical supplies and fuel for health facilities. The lack of funding is impeding the availability of emergency obstetric and neonatal care, treatment for non-communicable diseases, and secondary and tertiary hospital care. The planned areas of intervention for health in 2017, include support for reproductive health services, including emergency obstetric and new-born services and care for victims of sexual and gender-based violence; Support routine/outreach immunizations, Integrated Management of Childhood Illness and vaccine preventable disease surveillance; and improve access to quality curative nutrition services through systematic identification, referral and treatment of acutely malnourished cases according to national standards.


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Health profile – Libya Delivering healthcare in Libya remains a significant challenge.

WHO’s support meant that 12.9 million treatments provided through distribution of health kits, medicines and medical supplies; 1,678 kits distributed among health facilities; 4 field hospitals handling 500 patients established in 4 areas across the country; 2.5 million children under 6 years covered in 2 national Immunization Days; and 23 disease early warning sites reporting on communicable diseases. WHO highlights in 2016 included establishing an Early Warning and Response System (EWARN) for communicable diseases in collaboration with the National Centre of Disease Control (NCDC); developing the National Anti-Retroviral (ARV) Protocol in collaboration with the Libyan National Scientific Committee for HIV; and supporting a comprehensive national immunization against polio, which covered immunization of 1.5 million children 0-71 months of age by the bivalent Oral Polio vaccine (bOPV) between 10-16 December 2016. Security concerns in Libya continue to create accessibility problems, and hostilities have stalled the procurement and distribution of essential life-saving medicines, while simultaneously triggering large-scale displacements. Lack of funding is preventing several activities related to strengthening a deteriorating health care system including the establishment of public health laboratories, and the initiation

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of a project for primary health care pilot models. In 2017, WHO is prioritising access to basic life-saving primary and secondary health care services through provision of essential medicine, and medical supplies; improving access to primary healthcare, disability care and life-saving emergency care through increased technical support; strengthening existing health structures and avoiding the collapse of the health system ensuring deployment of essential health staff and a functional referral system; and reducing communicable disease transmission and outbreaks through implementation of effective detection and mitigation measures.

Health profile – Afghanistan Remains a major challenge for health service provision.

786,100 treatments provided through distribution of health kits, medicines and medical supplies, 9 million children vaccinated against polio, 122,000 returnees & refugee children vaccinated, 1,500 national health staff trained in areas including trauma care, mass casualty management, emergency preparedness & response, and 543 disease early warning sites reporting on communicable diseases. Additionally, 41 mobile health teams & 51 health centres were established, 9 hospitals supported in the area of

trauma care services and 17 highrisk provinces provided with mass casualty management supplies. In 2017, WHO aims to gap-fill health care service delivery for people living in high-risk areas, including life-saving essential primary health care services, emergency mental health services and emergency trauma care; stockpile and replenish essential medicines and emergency kits, including life-saving medicines, trauma kits, pneumonia kits and diarrhoea kits; Support public health emergencies caused by major outbreaks and strengthen prevention through public awareness and vaccination campaigns as well as enhanced surveillance and case management; and establish new first aid trauma posts and upgrading specialized trauma care services at provincial hospitals. Attacks on health facilities continue, leading to the closure of 29 facilities, depriving 377,633 people of access to health care services. Gender issues are significant – there is a difficulty in accessing remote areas and cultural barriers hamper access to health services, especially for women, and a lack of female health workers further exacerbates the issue. The lack of funding causing suspension of life-saving services to over 4.6 million people in areas not covered by government health services. In 2016, WHO provided polio vaccinations to over 122,000 returnee and refugee children through WHO’s polio programme and supported health service provision for Afghan returnees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) by equipping health facilities with essential medicines, medical and non-supplies and establishing mobile health clinics; Established a trauma

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care unit at Kunduz Regional Hospital which treated over 2,400 patients and performed 1,045 major and minor operations in 2016; and supported the Establishment of a Command and Control Centre (CCC) at the Ministry of Public Health to coordinate and oversee all emergency preparedness and response activities in Afghanistan.

Health profile – Occupied Palestinian Territory Health treatment in the occupied Palestinian territory continues.

In 2016, 500,000 treatments provided through distribution of health kits, medicines and medical supplies; 124,541 beneficiaries served through mobile clinics 100% of children covered by vaccination programmes; 77,197 children and pregnant women provided with micronutrient supplements; 1,000 national health staff trained in areas including IHR, mother & child health, and mental health care; and 2.5 million litres of fuel distributed to public hospitals in Gaza to sustain their services WHO Priorities for 2017. In 2016, WHO ensured entry of essential medical equipment into Gaza including x-ray machines, ultrasound machines, autoclaves, and Intensive Care Unit equipment, which benefitted more than 1 million patients; Implemented integration of mental health in primary health care supporting more than 1 million patients in West Bank

and Gaza; and provided more than 2.5 million litres of fuel to public hospitals in Gaza to sustain their service, benefitting over 100,000 in-patients, 300,000 outpatients, 200,000 diagnostic exams and more than 400,000 emergency room patients. WHO priorities for 2017 is to enhance trauma care/mass casualty management at key primary health care centres in Gaza; enhance emergency patient care, communication and documentation, management of complex trauma cases, effective triage and health emergency preparedness. There are many challenges, including chronic occupation, closure of the Gaza Strip, and the physical separation of Gaza and the West Bank, compounded by an internal political divide. These challenges the coordination efforts of health partners to respond on a national level. Continuous power outages and increasing monthly consumption of fuel to operate electric back-up generators poses a severe threat to the health system, and lack of funding caused by donor fatigue and perpetuated by three wars in six years has increased humanitarian needs and widened health gaps.

Health profile – Pakistan Recent progress is encouraging, but challenges remain.


vaccinated against polio; 200,000 frontline workers trained to conduct five national and four subnational polio immunization campaigns; 742 health care providers in 36 priority districts trained to provide maternal, new-born and child health services; and 83 nutrition stabilization centres supported throughout the country. Insecurity and delays in approvals for project implementation in Federally Administered Tribal Areas, and a lack of sufficient resources and facilities in areas hosting returnees, depriving 460,000+ beneficiaries of essential life-saving health services. In 2016, WHO continued polio eradication efforts and strengthened surveillance network to detect cases across the country. It constructed seven prefabricated Primary Health Care (PHC) health facilities, including a labour room, in areas hosting Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). Health facilities in these areas were destroyed during the conflict. In 2017, WHO is aiming to reactivate and revitalize Primary Health Care services (PHC) in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) where health facilities are devastated due to conflict; Strengthening Mother and Child health and Reproductive Health care, as the system is extremely weak in FATA with no single lady doctor serving in the area; Establishing and strengthening the Disease Surveillance System in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA); and support transition from humanitarian to development by supporting the health department through strengthening capacities in coordination, assessments, prioritization and response mechanisms

In 2016, 37 million children under 5


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Health profile – Somalia Armed conflict still makes operating in Somalia a challenge.

In 2016, 1 million people were provided with primary and secondary health services, 2.3 million children under five vaccinated in national polio campaigns, 40,000 beneficiaries of medicines and supplies provided for drought response in Puntland and Somaliland, and 260 disease early warning sites reporting on communicable diseases in the South and Central Zones, Somaliland and Puntland In 2016, the cholera outbreak declined from 1853 cases and 187 deaths during its peak in April to 380 cases and 15 deaths in December, due in part to the public information and prevention campaign and health worker trainings. In 2017, WHO is aiming to pre-position health emergency supplies in high-risk areas and settlements hosting displaced people; Provide medical supplies to primary and secondary health care facilities; Provide capacity-building to front line health workers on topics such as essential use of medication, emergency management, public health promotion; and strengthen emergency preparedness and response capacities of health authorities and cluster partners including disease surveillance and response capacity to disease

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outbreaks. Somalia is a difficult place to work and the insecurity due to long lasting civil war and armed conflict and frequent natural disasters, Weak central government and challenging coordination and cooperation between the Somali regions; and weak health infrastructure and shortages of qualified health staff all make it a difficult place to work.

Health profile – Sudan WHO investing in long term health needs of Sudan

In 2016, 4 million children immunized against national polio campaigns, 1.2 million beneficiaries of integrated campaigns for control of vector-borne disease, and 4,298 health workers and community volunteers trained on Integrated Management of Childhood illnesses. Who also supported scholarships for 210 students of Health Sciences in Darfur States; supported the establishing of a midwifery training school in Kutum to contribute to the reduction of Maternal Mortality Rates by addressing shortages and inequitable distribution of midwives in remote locations; conducted 79 vector surveillance missions, inspecting 32,746 households between July and September. Supported 32 integrated vector control campaigns, reaching a total of 223,628 households and benefitting 1.2 million individuals.

More than 255,000 people fleeing conflict in South Sudan arrived at Sudan in 2016. In White Nile camps, where 42% of all new arrivals settled, WHO supported the strengthening of eight health facilities providing emergency health services. WHO also supported the operation of a newly established clinic in Khor Waral in June 2016 to handle additional patient caseloads. Conducted a risk assessment of cholera importation in White Nile camps. Following the introduction of the Oral Cholera Vaccine, two immunization rounds were implemented with 95.6% coverage of South Sudanese refugees and nearby host communities. In 2017, WHO aims to have provided primary health care services, including referral services, for vulnerable populations affected by conflict and natural disasters; Strengthen national capacities to prepare, detect and respond promptly to public health risks or events at federal, state and locality level; and ensure Maternal and Child Health services for the reduction of maternal and child morbidity and mortality among vulnerable populations. However, the lack of sufficient funding affecting provision of primary health care service, and increasing risk of maternal and child morbidity and mortality and continued refugee movement in the country, makes operating in Sudan a challenge.

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Sudan’s commitment to speeding up SDGs The Global Network for Health in All Policies is a global initiative led by Sudan, as a representative of the East Mediterranean Region, and embarked on initially by a group of countries to institutionalize and facilitate the implementation of the Health in All Policies approach worldwide. Sudan had successfully planted the seed of the Network in a side event during the 69th World Health Assembly in Geneva named (Health in All Policies’ for Sustainable Development Goals Achievements), which was hosted by the Federal Ministry of the Republic of the Sudan, in coordination with Ministries of Health of Thailand and Finland. The event led to the launch of the Network a year later during the 70th World Health Assembly in Geneva May 2017, along with the Formulation of the transition steering committee and an executive committee for the network. The primarily motivation behind this initiative was that countries were struggling to achieve the MDG s prior to 2015, and they are also still struggling to achieve SDGs. This difficulty arises from the fact that addressing social determinants of health and health inequalities requires an inter-sectoral approach,

and that ministries of health cannot address these global challenges alone. It is evident now that without commitment, coordination, collaboration, and partnerships between different sectors and the Ministry of Health, it is almost impossible to move progressively towards SDGs and Universal Health Coverage (UHC). The vision of the network is: A strengthened Health in All Policies approach with the aim of speeding up SDGs and Universal Health Coverage. The mission is that it will work with its members to address the determinants of health by strengthening the Health in All Policies approach. The aim is to accelerate the implementation of SDGs and progress towards Universal Health Coverage. Based on those vision and mission, several objectives has been set for the Global network for Health in All Policies which are: to lead, facilitate, strengthen, and institutionalize the implementation of Health in All Policies in countries to support the implementation of the Sustainable Development Agenda; to build capacities and skills to enable the implementation of the Health in All Policies approach; to facilitate the development of tools and guidelines to support step health in All Policies implementation, and hence moving from theory to practice

through active collaborations and partnerships; to enable knowledge sharing and inter-countries transfer of experiences through South to South and triangular Cooperation; to generate evidence on the effectiveness of the health in All policies approach in the progress towards SDGs and Universal Health Coverage; and to create an online platform where all countries can have rich interactive discussions and share experiences. H.E Mr. Bahar Idris Abu Garda Federal Minister of Health, Sudan


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UAE’s commitment to working with WHO to fight polio The United Arab Emirates’ Pakistan Assistance Programme (PAP) was launched to provide support for the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to mitigate against the negative effects of a natural flood disaster on infrastructure. It has now entered a new phase of giving in solidarity with the Pakistani people, and it aims to crystallize a vision to alleviate their suffering and offer people in Pakistan a decent life. The programme adopted a new development plan to carry out vital projects to serve Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA communities. Working with army commanders and official Government and local authorities in Pakistan, a fully integrated field study of the needs required by these provinces was conducted, and it set the bar for the geographic deployment of these projects in towns and villages covered by UAE PAP. To secure a decent life, prosperity and progress for the inhabitants of the targeted areas, work was completed in four vital development projects – roads and bridges, education, health and water supply, in addition to direct humanitarian assistance to the poor, those in need and homeless. To celebrate our work, and to showcase our support for WHO’s work on polio in Pakistan, WHO Director-Gen-

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eral Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the late WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean Dr. Mahmoud Fikri and His Excellency Hamad Obaid Alzaabi, Ambassador of UAE in Islamabad, inaugurated a photo exhibition on Global Polio Eradication by UAE PAP dedicated to Pakistan’s polio eradication efforts, on the Initiative of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed. The photo exhibition was hosted at the 64th session of WHO Regional Committee taking place in Islamabad, where ministers of health and their representatives discussed important public health priorities for countries of the Region. Mrs. Saira Afzal Tarar, Pakistan’s Federal Minister for National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination, along with other distinguished guests, were also present at the exhibition inauguration. Pakistan is one of only three countries in the world with ongoing wild poliovirus transmission, alongside Afghanistan and Nigeria. Over the past couple of years, Pakistan has achieved great progress in the polio situation. The number of wild poliovirus cases has declined from 306 in 2014 to 54 in 2015 and only 20 in 2016. Momentum is being maintained in 2017 with only 5 cases reported as of 9 October 2017. The United Arab Emirates has played a pivotal role in supporting Pakistan’s polio eradication efforts and has con-

tributed significantly to the turnaround seen in Pakistan since 2014 till 2016, more than 10.6 million children across Pakistan’s highest-risk districts were vaccinated yearly in each of the three phases of the campaign supported by the programme. The financial contribution made through WHO Pakistan also helped to cover incentives to polio frontline workers, in addition to the associated operational costs of the campaigns in identified districts, enabling WHO to continue strengthening capacity and outreach in the most difficult part of Pakistan. In February 2017, WHO participated and started the implementation of phase IV of Emirates Polio Campaigns funding to Pakistan’s polio programme, which will enable the vaccination of 12.6 million children monthly. Abdulla Khalifa Al Ghfeli Director of the United Arab Emirates’ Pakistan Assistance Programme

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Nutrition Stabilization Centres tackle malnutrition in Pakistan

Statistics from population surveys in Pakistan confirm malnutrition as the underlying cause for 45 percent of all under-five morbidity and mortality. The 2011 National Nutrition Survey revealed alarmingly high rates of stunting (43.7%), under-weight (31.5%) and wasting (15.1%) in children less than 5 years of age, highlighting serious inequities between urban and rural settings. Wasting rate is beyond the emergency threshold as per WHO standards. In line with the country’s commitments under SDG 2 for improving nutrition and achieving zero hunger, WHO is working closely with the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination, provincial and area departments of health, and development partners (including UNICEF, WFP, FAO and donors). With its technical expertise in specialized care, WHO has supported establishment of a total of 83 Nutrition Stabilization Centers (NSCs) across the country. These centers are located within the public sector

secondary or tertiary care settings for in-patient care of severely acute malnourished children with complications, as well as for malnourished children aged less than 6 months. WHO has provided the equipment and supplies, such as kits and medicines, together with capacity building support to around 1,500 care providers attached to these Nutrition Stabilization Centers. These centers have treated hundreds of cases over last five years and saved many precious lives.

Provincial Nutrition Programmes are in place in almost all four provinces and the plan for federating areas and Islamabad Capital Territory is pending approval. Fortunately, the support for continuation of services through Nutrition Stabilization Centers is committed under all provincial and area nutrition programmes, affirming that nutrition is no doubt a priority for the government at all levels.

WHO together with other development partners has also been advocating for sustainability of the interventions supported through donors and UN agencies. At present, the


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UNICEF works for a healthy start for every child Kainat sits on a charpoy playing with her 7-month-old baby girl Aliya. They are joined by Kainat’s sister-in-law Sumaira, her one-year-old daughter Ayesha, and their host, the local Lady Health Worker (LHW), Tasleem. The women are discussing nutrition of children after six months of age. Around 30 women are waiting along with them to join a special session on mother and child healthcare by the area’s Lady Health Supervisor (LHS). Kainat belongs to Basti Miani village in the Rajanpur district in South Punjab – the district with the highest infant mortality rate and under-5 mortality rate in the whole of the province. Every Lady Health Worker reaches around 150 households in the area where she lives and works. Among the many responsibilities, a few are to visit these homes regularly; check for pregnant women; ensure pre-natal and antenatal care; provide guidance on safe deliveries, early initiation of breastfeeding and exclusive breastfeeding; and mobilize women and families for a more informed approach towards health. With generous funding from Johnson & Johnson – a well-known manufacturer of family healthcare and medical products – UNICEF supported

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the Lady Health Workers’ program of the Government of Pakistan in 12 union councils of southern Punjab under a project entitled ‘Improved Health Outcomes for Children and Women through Strengthening Communication Advocacy and Mobilization at Community Level’. The project uses the Community Action Process (CAP) approach, aimed at organizing the community in the form of groups of men, women and children, and help establish a linkage between health management and the community members surrounding maternal, newborn and child health. This includes immunization, hygiene and sanitation, nutrition and education. In the project, UNICEF also provided portable projectors with speakers to the LHWs so that they can show relevant instructive video material to mothers and pregnant women. Kainat says that it was surprising for her to learn the importance of caring for herself before her baby was born. She also learned how vital it was to ensure things such as early initiation and exclusive breastfeeding. Aliya, her baby, received the start that every child deserves: from early initiation of breastfeeding and immunization to exclusive breastfeeding and regular health check-ups.

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Khyber Pakhtunkhwa supported to tackle Dengue fever People suffer from various diseases. Some diseases are meant to be treated, some can be controlled, and others can be prevented before they get worse. This year, on 19 July 2017, the prevalence of Dengue fever again became the focus in Pakistan, including for the World Health Organization. As of 20th October 2017, there were over 78,000 suspected cases and 18,000 confirmed cases for Dengue fever (25%) and 57 deaths were registered. The technical staff of WHO worked on a complete strategy and came up with a plan of action to help respond to the situation. This strategy included technical facilitation to the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, public awareness campaigns and the recruitment of eight staff, including four entomologists and two surveillance officers. Local staff were trained by two Dengue case management experts from WHO’s partner Centre Thailand. The KP sub office at WHO Peshawar were supported by other technical staff from WHO Punjab and Baluchistan, who were temporarily relocated to Peshawar. There are a number of causes of

the Dengue outbreak. The lack of running water, poverty and the lack of a healthy environment all contributed to make the situation worse, as they would for any vector born disease. The WHO team ran a campaign from 18-23 October, which covered 14 high risk Union Councils in Peshawar. The team managed to visit 94 percent of the houses during the campaign and found that 7 percent had positive larvae. In four Union Councils, Deh Bahadur, Achina Bala, Palosi and Sraband, WHO managed to reach 100 percent of the houses. In the field, all technical staff, entomologists, volunteers and lady health workers made sure that every breeding site was checked and cleaned. The approach and

backbone of the entire campaign had one message ‘no house should be missed’. During the campaign, the people of Peshawar were very receptive to the idea of larva detection in their homes. They were very keen to learn and enthusiastic to continue the field workers’ actions by themselves in the future. The Dengue outbreak showed the enormous potential of people, the government and the World Health Organization to work together to make people healthier. Only cooperation and preventive measurements and education will help defeat Dengue fever.


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Leishmaniasis control success story in Balochistan Those in public health and healthcare know that Leishmaniasis is a silent but very persistent disease. Statistics from the District Health Information System confirm Leishmaniasis is one of the common sand fly diseases in the Balochistan province of Pakistan, endemic in more than 15 districts out of 32. Over time, it has spread to other districts within the same province and there are an increasing number of areas experiencing endemics. A major part of public health protection is to take vector control measures and treatment through Glucantime injection, which is very expensive and rarely available in Pakistan. WHO is working closely with the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination and the Provincial health directorate in controlling the disease and supported establishment of temporary Leishmaniasis centers with provision of medicine and technical training to health care providers. In April 2017, the World Health Organization, thanks to the efforts of its ground staff based in Balochistan, took the initiative to treat a selected number of patients suffering from Leishmaniasis in the high-risk districts of the province.

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10,000 vials of Glucantime were handed over to health department in Balochistan. Based on the DHIS data, 25 temporary Leishmaniasis treatment centers in (12) endemic districts were selected. Before the distribution of Glucantime vials in temporary Leishmaniasis centers within districts, two of the Health Care Providers in selected districts were trained on case management and practicing Intra Lesion Treatment by WHO technical team at the provincial level. Over six months (April – September 2017), the WHO team, in collaboration with the Department of Health, successfully utilized the Glucantime injections (10,000) and treated numerous of affected cases (1,870) in the province. With the treatment provided by WHO, many people quickly recovered. The strategy of deploying the trained staff; maintaining records on daily and weekly basis; and technical and supportive supervision from the country office, all made a significant difference and led to a sense of responsibility within the Health Department to adopt this strategy for the benefit of the people of Balochistan.

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Improving health outcomes for people who are HIV positive Pakistan has a worrying, fast-growing HIV infection rate among people who inject drugs. With an estimated HIV prevalence of 38.8 percent, according to the latest integrated behavioral and biological surveillance in 2016, people who inject drugs constitute the bulk of new HIV infections in the country. The World Health Organization (WHO) introduced consolidated guidelines on the use of antiretroviral drugs for treating and preventing HIV infection in 2016, recommending community-based HIV testing services, with linkage to prevention, treatment and care, in addition to provider-initiated testing and counseling (PITC) for key populations. Guidelines also propose early initiation of antiretroviral drugs of new diagnosed HIV clients, irrespective of their CD4 counts. The National AIDS Control Program (NACP) has adopted and operationalized the new ‘HIV Test and Treat’ guidelines. A local NGO ‘Nai Zindgai’ took these guidelines and developed an innovative approach by providing residential services to people who HIV positive people who inject drugs, and where antiretroviral drugs has been initiated. With a combination of treatment for

opioid dependence and antiretroviral drugs adherence, the approach keeps the client stable and off drugs thereby increasing the likelihood of adherence. An achievable proposition when limited realistic options are available. An independent evaluation of this model of continuum of care and treatment found a statistically significant impact on antiretroviral drugs initiation and adherence for clients who had attended residential rehabilitation. After a year of operation, the absolute numbers of people who inject drugs on treatment increased by more than 100 percent, with antiretroviral drugs clients 43-51 times more likely to be adherent over a period between 7 and 19 months of treatment initiation.

This model has helped to address the barriers to access antiretroviral drugs because of limited availability of quality detoxification services. The model’s requirement that people who inject drugs undergo detoxification prior to treatment initiation, and the absence of OST for the foreseeable future, means that the residential care has a significant role to improve access of HIV positive people who inject drugs to antiretroviral drugs and other treatment outcomes.


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Obituary: Dr. Mahmoud Fikri, Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean, WHO

Dr. Fikri died of a heart attack on 17 October. He is survived by his wife and seven children. Dr. Mahmoud Fikri, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean, tragically died of a sudden heart attack on 17 October 2017, while travelling to Uruguay to attend the global conference on non-communicable diseases. Dr. Fikri was nominated Regional Director during the 63rd session of the Regional Committee of the Eastern Mediterranean in October 2016, and then appointed by the Executive Board in January 2017. He took office on 1 February. During his first months in office, Dr. Fikri embarked on developing a roadmap clearly spelling out his vision for WHO’s work in the Region. His goal was to increase WHO’s ca-

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pacity to meet the needs of people across the Region by ensuring WHO was increasingly effective, efficient, accountable and transparent.

organisation extends its sincere condolences to Dr. Fikri’s family and his colleagues and friends throughout WHO and the EMRO region.

In line with the Sustainable Development Goals and the global vision of WHO’s Director General, Dr. Fikri placed his focus on five priorities: emergencies and health security; communicable diseases; non-communicable diseases; maternal, neonatal, child and adolescent health; and health system strengthening. He emphasized the need for achievable and practical targets, indicators and milestones for programmes within each priority area, and the need for regular and proper monitoring.

Dr. Fikri previously served as Advisor to the Minister of Health of the UAE, and was Undersecretary for Preventive Medicine and Health Policies Affairs in the Ministry (1995–2013). He served as member of the Board of Directors of the WHO Centre for Health and Development and Research in Japan (Kobe) and a member of the Advisory Board of the Gulf Cooperation Council Health Council to 2005. He was also a member of the WHO Executive Board from 1997 to 2000.

Dr. Fikri stressed that progress in addressing these areas would only be possible through sustained commitment, and that of Member States and international, local and development partners. He pledged to unite efforts, drawing on strengths and resources, to ensure holistic improvements to health. WHO staff of the Eastern Mediterranean Region have pledged to take Dr. Fikri’s roadmap forward as his legacy, and fulfil this vision. WHO chief Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus of Ethiopia said the

Dr. Fikri held a diploma from Tropical Medicine and Hygiene from Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene in the United Kingdom (1984) and a Master’s Degree in Dermatology and Venereology from the Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Egypt (1989). He pursued his postgraduate studies and obtained his PhD in Dermatology from the University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Carol Devila, Romania (1999). Dr. Fikri is survived by his wife, five sons and two daughters.

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Turning a new page in Integrated Management of Newborn and Childhood Illnesses implementation It was unfortunate that Pakistan did not manage to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), in particular MDG 4 for child health, but that is now history. The country is committed to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are even more ambitious and demand accelerated actions. SDG 3 has defined targets for key newborn and child health indicators and countries need strategic focus and an accelerated pace of actions. Integrated Management of Newborn and Childhood Illnesses (IMNCI) is a proven global strategy that contributes significantly in reducing child mortality and morbidity. Pakistan has been a pioneer in adapting and implementing this in the late 90s and early 2000s. However, this strategy has not been implemented at the required scale. One major barrier is the long training duration (11 days). A National Child Health Forum was organized by the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination (MoNHSR&C) in Karachi on 19-20 September 2017. The event was attended by a group of child health experts and stakeholders including Pakistan Pediatric

Association, Provincial/Area Health Departments, non-governmental organizations, UN partners, academia, researchers and clinicians. Experts from WHO Headquarters in Geneva were also present. Stakeholders were informed that Pakistan has recently field-tested a locally adapted abridged course (6 days) incorporating the management of infants with possible serious bacterial infections (PSBI) where referral is not possible. This is expected to accelerate scale-up of IMNCI across the country but it does require to be complemented by skill reinforcement, clinical mentoring, supportive supervision and an enabling environment. Innovative and technology based methods need to be adopted for efficient reporting and monitoring. There is a need to bring private sector providers into the network by building their capacity and engag-

ing them in post-training support, reporting and monitoring. Focusing on pre-service IMNCI is seen as the most convenient method to ensure that all providers (public or private) receive the necessary pre-deployment trainings before starting their professional careers. The closing session was chaired by Dr. Assad Hafeez, Federal Director General Health and co-chaired by Dr. Muhammad Akhlaque, Director General, Department of Health, Government of Sindh. The group presented key highlights from the 2-day event and also shared summary of the brainstorming sessions on main challenges and their solutions for scaling up IMNCI in Pakistan. It was jointly agreed that all stakeholders need to work together, using the abridged IMNCI course as an opportunity to improve coverage and quality of care for child health throughout the country.


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Attaining 90% literacy target under vision 2025 Country Director UNESCO in Pakistan Vibeke Jensen has said that Pakistan is ambitious in attaining 90 percent literacy target under its vision 2025. In an exclusive interview with News and Current Affairs Channel of Radio Pakistan on World’s Literacy Day she said that prudent policies of the government have resulted in reducing dropout rate of children from the schools. The Country Director said World’s Literacy Day aims to draw attention towards importance of acquiring fundamental literacy skills for the development of society. She said the day is celebrated after the decision taken by the United Nations to draw world’s attention towards improving literacy rate of the population. Pakistan has already achieved the target of attaining 60 percent literacy rate ahead of 2025. She urged the provincial government to take concrete steps for achieving the target of attaining of optimum literacy rate, stating that improvement in the literacy rate is pivotal for attaining the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. On the occasion, Advisor National Commission for Human Development Arshad Saeed Khan said that Article-26 of UN-Universal Declaration of Human Rights also stated clearly that attaining education is a fundamental right of all

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individuals in the world. He said that the government has been striving hard to promote literacy rate in the country. Arshad Ali said two million literacy centres have made over four million people literates in the country, and that around six thousand feeder schools are functioning for disadvantageous children across the country. The commission is creating awareness among the people for the cause of literacy. After the 18th amendment, education has become purely a provincial subject and the provincial governments are provided with the sufficient resources under National Finance Commission in this regard. He said that Article 25-A of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan also stated clearly that the provision of education is a duty of the state itself. He said that the federal gov-

ernment is continuously assisting the provinces in imparting quality education to the people across the country. On his part, Deputy Chief Advisor Japan International Cooperation Agency Abid Ali Gill said that attaining an optimum level of literacy rate is key to attain other SDGs in the country. He said that the agency is committed to integrate all the stakeholders and partners to assist the government in achieving all SDG.

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Peace: a prerequisite for development UNIC Director Vittorio Cammarota was interviewed on the UN Perspective programme on Radio Pakistan on the occasion of the International Day of Peace. The theme for 2017 was ‘Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All.’ Talking on the show he said that the International Day of Peace is a day of special significance and to devote ourselves to strengthening the ideals of peace.

He informed that the United Nations was created after the Second World War exactly to avoid the possibility of another catastrophic war in the future. That is why in the Charter, in the preamble and the first chapter, the word “peace” appears 10 times. He said peace is a prerequisite for development, and the United Nations is collaborating with Pakistan on every front to achieve this end. Pakistan has rendered commendable services for peace-building and peacekeeping across the world through its contributions to the UN Peacekeeping operations.

Vittorio Cammarota said that media can play the most significant role in promoting peace, tolerance and harmonious co-existence by influencing people.

Financing the sustainable development agenda United Nations Development Program (UNDP) is working with the Government of Pakistan to achieve sustainable development goals comprehensively. This was stated by Country Director of UNDP Ignacio Artaza Zuriarrain while speaking at a program of the News and Current Affairs Channel on Radio Pakistan. Appreciating resilience of the people of Pakistan, he said Pakistan has achieved many successes in recent years and has been successful in increasing its tax to GDP ratio from 9 percent to 12 percent which is a positive trend. Regarding financing for development projects, the UNDP Country Director said the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, worth over 46 billion USD, is

a notable example of South-South cooperation. He said under the mega project, China is building the basic infrastructure in Pakistan to help its economy expand and grow. He said UNDP is committed to help Pakistan overcome poverty, combat

climate change, promote environmental sustainability, better governance, and women empowerment. Mr. Shakeel Ahmad, Assistant Country Director and Chief of Development Policy Unit also participated in the programme. .


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World Mental Health Day: mental health is inseparable from physical health Mental Health in the Workplace’ is the theme of World Mental Health Day 2017. World Mental Health Day is a day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy against social stigma. It was first celebrated in 1992 at the initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health in more than 150 countries. Around 50 million people are suffering from common mental disorders in Pakistan. The illness afflicts 15 to 35 million adults, which is about 10 to 20 per cent of the population (study by AKU

2016). Depression is also a major contributor to suicide attempts. Naima Hassan, Senior Stress Counselor at the United Nations in Pakistan participated in the UN Perspectives on Radio Pakistan programme on the occasion of World Mental Health Day. She said that mental health is inseparable from an individual’s physical health. Stigma attached with mental health or services in this regard is a major stumbling block in the wellbeing of people with mental health problems. She said it was wrongly believed that a person having mental problems is totally alien from normal life. A person with a mental disorder should be helped instead

of discriminated. She stressed the need to address this issue at all levels, stating that media can play a significant role in this regard, including making the subject of mental health part of a curriculum for better understanding and creating awareness.

Reproductive health rights in an age of inequality

The State of the World Population report -2017, entitled ‘Worlds Apart - Reproductive Health Rights in an Age of Inequality’, was launched globally on 17 October 2017. Dr. Adeela Khan, Reproductive Health Analyst of the UNFPA shared the findings of the Population Report on the Reproductive Health Rights

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of women during Radio Pakistan’s current affairs programme, UN Perspectives. She said that inequalities in women’s reproductive health and rights are big hindrances in achieving Sustainable Development Goals. She emphasized that women have the right to decide as to how many children they want to have and nobody, including their husbands, can impose their will on them. She said this will be the first step towards women empowerment and bridging the gap between inequalities facing women.

She opined that that media can play an effective role in creating awareness among women that they have the right towards their own health.

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Investing in food security and rural development Mr. Nasar Hayat, Assistant FAO Representative (Programme) participated in the Radio Pakistan show Raabita. The importance of investing in food security and rural development for changing migration trends was the

main theme of this interview. He stressed on the need for adopting climate-smart agriculture practices for sustainable development and took live questions from callers who mainly belonged to the rural areas in Pakistan.

Pakistan’s extraordinary role In UN peacekeeping missions In an exclusive talk with Radio Pakistan, Neil Buhne lauded the professionalism and competence of Pakistani soldiers, describing Pakistan’s role in the UN peacekeeping missions as extraordinary. During the interview with the News and Current Affairs Channel of Radio Pakistan on the occasion of the United Nations Day being observed on Tuesday, he said Pakistan has been one of the longest and largest contributors to the peacekeeping missions. The UN Resident Coordinator also appreciated the professionalism and competence of Pakistani soldiers, mentioning that up until recently the chief military adviser to the UN was a respected Pakistani General. Similarly, he said, there have been a lot of other mission commanders from Pakistan. He noted that these assignments are not given on the basis of nationalities or

regional representation but on the basis of competence. On the occasion, Neil Buhne also gave a detailed overview of the projects being supported or implemented by different UN agencies in different sectors in Pakistan. When asked about the UN’s assistance in resettlement of internally displaced persons, the UN Resident Coordinator said work with the government of Pakistan in rebuilding basic health and education infrastructure and livelihoods has taken place. The UN together with Pakistan’s government is framing a transition plan to cover the humanitarian needs of the affected families over the next three years. On role played by the UN in conflict resolution, he said that Kashmir and Palestine issues have been lingering for a long time. Assistance can be provided and confidence building measures can be put in place, but crucial is the political will of member states to talk and resolve the issues. On the mandate of the UN Security Council, the UN military observer group

was established and is still existing to monitor ceasefire violations on the line of control. About ongoing Indian atrocities in occupied Kashmir, the UN Resident coordinator said the high commissioner on human rights had expressed his concerns on the situation and had offered to send a mission to the territory but it could not take place. He said the secretary general had also offered his good office for resolution of Kashmir dispute between Pakistan and India.


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World Food Day with PTV World The ‘World This Morning’ hosted by Maha Makhdum and Shahzad Khan on PTV World conducted a live one-hour programme on World Food Day, celebrated on 16 October 2017. This included a panel discussion with Dr. Yusuf Zafar, Chairman, Pakistan Agricultural Research Centre (PARC); Dr. M. Azeem Khan, Director General, National Agricultural Research Council (NARC); Mr. Finbarr Curran, Representative and Country Director, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Pakistan; and Ms. Minà Dowlatchahi, Country Representative, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Pakistan.

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The respected guests talked about this year’s theme on World Food Day: ‘Change the future of migration. Invest in food security and rural development’. The various causes of migration, such as hunger, poverty, and the impacts of climate change, the Government of Paki-

stan’s initiatives and programmes and the support of the United Nations and other stakeholders to the government and relevant departments were discussed during the programme.

messages from secretary-general

International Day of Democracy 15 September 2017

United Nations Day 24 October 2017 Our world faces many grave challenges.

We have to transcend our differences to transform our future.

Widening conflicts and inequality. Extreme weather and deadly intolerance.

When we achieve human rights and human dignity for all people – they will build a peaceful, sustainable and just world.

Security threats – including nuclear weapons. We have the tools and wealth to overcome these challenges. All we need is the will.

On United Nations Day, let us, ‘We the Peoples’, make this vision a reality.

The International Day of Democracy is an opportunity to recommit to a world defined by values enshrined in the United Nations Charter: peace, justice, respect, human rights, tolerance and solidarity. Yet in many societies around the world, there is a crisis of faith. Globalization and technological progress have lifted many out of poverty, but have also contributed to inequality and instability. There is a growing and deepening divide among people, as well as between people and the political establishments that exist to represent them. Fear is driving too many decisions. This is a danger to democracy. It is time to reconstruct relations between people and leaders - national and international. It is time for leaders to listen and show that they care, about their own people and about the global stability and solidarity on which we all depend. And it is time for the entire international community to address one of its most severe shortcomings: our inability to prevent crises. On this day, let us dedicate ourselves to those values enshrined in the UN Charter - without double standards, with full commitment, and with full transparency.

The world’s problems transcend borders.


messages from secretary-general

International Day of Peace

International Day for Disaster Reduction

21 September 2017

13 October 2017

On the International Day of Peace, we reflect on the cruel price of war. Ruined schools. Bombed hospitals. Broken families. Refugees searching for hope. Countries in crisis.

Millions of lives have been shattered this year by drought, storms, earthquakes, landslides and heatwaves. Last weekend, I witnessed first-hand the dramatic levels of devastation caused by severe hurricanes in the Caribbean. An average of 24 million population is pushed into poverty every year by disasters. Many millions are forced to leave their homes. If vulnerable countries are in a constant struggle to rebuild and recover after catastrophic events, we will never achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. On this year’s International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction, the challenge is to move from managing disasters themselves to managing disaster risk. Poverty, rapid urbanization, weak governance, the decline of ecosystems and climate change are driving disaster risk around the world. The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction with its seven targets for the prevention of disasters and reducing disaster losses is essential to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. We have had remarkable success in reducing the number of lives lost to disasters, thanks to early warning systems, preparedness, and more efficient evacuations. Now we must

The United Nations was born from a terrible World War. Our mission is to work for peace -every day and everywhere. No group interest, national ambition or political difference should be allowed to put peace at risk. On this International Day, we call for a global ceasefire. We must never -- ever -- stop pressing for an end to armed conflict. Peace is the right and the desire of all people. It is the foundation for progress and well-being – happy children, thriving communities, and peaceful, prosperous countries. Let us pledge to work together – today and every day – for the peace we all yearn for and deserve.

United Nations Pakistan | Magazine


focus on reducing human suffering and the number of people affected. Practical measures include relocating people from danger zones; implementing strong building codes; and preserving protective ecosystems. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is fundamental. Climate change is driving the increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events around the world. We need to show greater determination to implement the Paris Agreement, with greater ambition. The poor and most vulnerable, including women and girls, suffer disproportionately in disasters. Let’s put more effort into tackling disaster risk to create a safer, more sustainable world for all.


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United Nations Pakistan | Magazine


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The United Nations Pakistan Newsletter is produced by the United Nations Communications Group

Editors in Chief: Vittorio Cammarota, Former Director, United Nations Information Centre and Neil Buhne, Resident Coordinator, United Nations Pakistan and Acting Director, United Nations Information Centre Sub editor: Chiara Hartmann Producer (photography): Umair Khaliq Producer (content): Ishrat Rizvi Co-Producer (contents -special feature on Health): Basia Heath Graphic Designer: Mirko Neri Contributors: Anam Abbas, Qaiser Khan Afridi, Mahira Afzal, Farzana Akhter, Rizwana Asad, Noman Burki, Shaheryar Fazil, Camila Ferro, Razi Mujtaba Haider, Mehr Hassan, Naima Hassan, Basia Heath, Mahwish Humayun, Dr Adeela Khan, Imran Khan, Adresh Laghari, Sameer Luqman, Abdul Sami Malik, Waqas Rafique, Ishrat Rizvi, Maliha Shah, Zikrea Saleh, Asif Shahzad, Maryam Younus.

The United Nations has a long-standing partnership with the people of Pakistan in support of national development goals. The United Nations has also been providing humanitarian assistance in case of natural disasters and crises. Led by the Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator, United Nations works in all eight administrative areas of Pakistan through 19 resident organizations. Straddling humanitarian assistance and sustainable development, the work of the United Nations in Pakistan includes key areas such as education, health, water and sanitation, nutrition, economic growth, employment and livelihoods, resilience against disaster, governance, gender equality and social justice. The One UN Programme for Pakistan, United Nations focuses on accelerating progress towards achievement of Millennium Development Goals, reducing poverty, promoting opportunities for youth as well as advancing gender equality and human rights both at national and sub-national levels. United Nations encourages economic growth in Pakistan through supporting policies and programmes that link small farmers to markets, improving working conditions for women and supporting home-based and domestic workers. It will also assist the Government in strengthening democratic processes and institutions at the federal, provincial and local levels. Tackling the effects of climate change and reducing Pakistan’s vulnerabilities to natural disasters features especially prominently in the work of the United Nations in Pakistan.

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UN Pakistan Magazine - Issue 5 / 2017  
UN Pakistan Magazine - Issue 5 / 2017