Govt Dedicated to Address Challenges Posed by Climate Change: Minister

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Caretaker Minister for Planning Muhammad Sami Saeed said the government remained dedicated in addressing the challenges of climate change as key interventions are being taken under the umbrella of Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC).

He made these remarks while addressing the 26th Sustainable Development Conference (SDC) organized by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) on Thursday.

The minister addressed the thematic session titled, “Impact of Climate Change on Food & Nutrition Security in Pakistan, the session was held in collaboration with the World Food Program (WFP) and SDPI.

The panelists of the session include the Country Director World Food Program (WFP), Coco Ushiyama, Nutrition Division WFP Lynnda Kiess, Dr Friederike Greb, Dr Irfan Ullah from Nutrition International Pakistan, Dr Aneela Afzal from PMAS-AAU, Rawalpindi, Muhammad Daniyal Masood from NUST.

The government is well aware of the climate crisis and several interventions are being taken to address the issue under the umbrella of SFIC as agriculture is one of the key areas of this council, said the minister, while emphasizing the adoption of strategies highlighted by the experts to address this crisis.

“Pakistan aims for increased productivity through international best practices and welcomes foreign investment in the corporate agriculture sector,” he said while stressing the need to enhance agricultural practices and resilience to ensure food supply in Pakistan.

The SIFC was established earlier this year to attract foreign and local investments while targeting five key areas which include Agriculture, Defense Production, Mining/Minerals, Information Technology and Telecommunication and Energy.

It is noted that Pakistan has vast potential for foreign investments in the fields of agriculture as Pakistan is a semi-industrialized economy with a well-integrated agricultural sector that contributes 22.9 percent to GDP and creates 37.4 percent of jobs, ensures food security and provides raw materials for industry.

The minister said that last year, Pakistan faced unprecedented devastation due to torrential rains and flooding in most parts of the country, affecting 33 million people and economic losses worth $30 billion as a result the government prepared the 4RF framework.

The 4FR document suggested effective coordination and participation arrangements among the federal and provincial governments, development partners, donors, international and national NGOs, and academic and private sectors.  Furthermore, he added that a number of projects are being executed under the framework to make Pakistan climate resilient.

The minister highlighted the government’s efforts in monitoring food prices through various committees and surveys to ensure fair pricing and address inflation.

While highlighting the performance of the National Price Monitoring Committee NPMC which regularly reviews the prices of essential commodities across the country, he said that this committee has a positive role in controlling the prices of essential commodities. Besides, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics PBS also established an APP to monitor the prices of essential commodities across the country which is also an effective tool.

Acknowledging the challenges in education, especially the number of out-of-school children, he outlined various interventions under federal and provincial programs to address this critical issue.

He reaffirmed the government’s commitment to effective policy implementation and coordination across all levels for sustainable development in Pakistan.

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