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Pakistan’s first Urban Slum COVID-19 Response Programme to be inaugurated tomorrow

ISLAMABAD: Malik Amin Aslam Advisor to Prime Minister on Climate Change will formally inaugurate on Monday the Pakistan’s first Urban Slum COVID-19 Response Programme in collaboration with the UN Habitat, formally tagged as the “Pakistan COVID-19 Urban Slums Response Programme (PCUSRP)” The other collaborating partners for this initiative include Shehersaaz, National Cleaner Production Center (NCPC), Akhtar Hameed Khan Memorial Trust (AHKMT), Aman and Rawalpindi Waste Management Company.

The decision regarding launch of the a novel initiative, which aims to respond to growing vulnerabilities of the urban settlements to COVID-19, was made during a meeting held in the Ministry of Climate Change with Advisor to the Prime Minister Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam in chair.

Addressing the meeting, Amin Aslam explained that this project has been conceived in response to the need highlighted by the Prime Minister for protecting lives and livelihoods of the most vulnerable segment of the society living in urban slums areas.

The overall objective of the programme is to prevent spread of Covid-19 in urban slums areas and empowering local communities to mitigate economic impact of Covid-19, he added.

The meeting was attended by the Secretary of MoCC, representatives of UN-Habitat, National Cleaner Production Centre, Shehrsaaz and other senior officials of the climate change ministry. UN-Habitat’s Country manager in Pakistan, Jawed Ali Khan had briefing the meeting, saying that on the basis of the lessons learnt from this pilot project, the PCUSRP will be launched on full scale in collaboration with federal and provincial governments and other stakeholders.

UN Habitat will seek cooperation from the interested federal and provincial governments, UN Agencies and donors to join hands in implementing the PCUSRP at the country level, he added.

The meeting was also briefed that the programme is being piloted in Dhok Hassu and Dhok Mangtal, Rawalpindi targeting 50,000 slum community members.

Detailing about the programme components, Jawed Ali Khan said that public awareness and advocacy, access to preventive measures and WASH facilities, provision of income generation opportunities and capacity building and rapid assessment of key challenges and issues of urban slums are among the key components of the initiative.

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