UNDP’S Ad­vice

Southasia - - Briefing -

Coun­try Di­rec­tor of the United Na­tions De­vel­op­ment Pro­gram (UNDP) in Pak­istan, Marc-An­dré Franche has ad­vised Pak­istan that in­stead of striv­ing to es­tab­lish trade with Europe and the West, the coun­try should fo­cus on re­gional trade. Franche was of the view that trad­ing with South Asian neigh­bors will help re­duce poverty and bring in­no­va­tion in var­i­ous sec­tors. The UNDP chief be­lieves that in­equal­ity in ac­cess to so­cial ser­vices in Pak­istan was one of the main causes for poverty.

The di­rec­tor re­vealed that Pak­istan’s per­cent­age of GDP spent on ed­u­ca­tion is less than that of In­dia and Bangla- desh. He ob­served that coun­tries con­sti­tut­ing higher po­si­tions on the UN Hu­man De­vel­op­ment in­dex spend more on health and ed­u­ca­tion, hu­man re­source de­vel­op­ment, ac­count­abil­ity and trans­parency. Com­ment­ing on the up­com­ing May 11 elec­tions, Franche as­sured that the UNDP would pro­vide Pak­istan with an op­por­tu­nity to re­struc­ture its de­vel­op­men­tal pri­or­i­ties. Fur­ther­more, he said that Pak­istan should evolve a con­sen­sus on some key re­forms and changes in bud­getary al­lo­ca­tions. The UNDP is sup­port­ing the Elec­tion Com­mis­sion of Pak­istan in or­ga­niz­ing polls and con­sid­ers it an achieve­ment by the ECP to in­tro­duce im­prove­ments in the sys­tem such as voter’s ed­u­ca­tion, and the train­ing of the polling and se­cu­rity staff.

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