Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that China is a role model for developing countries in poverty alleviation and added that the neighbouring country’s stellar growth has brought “800 million people out of poverty over the past four decades”.
“China’s leadership role in climate change is also highly appreciated. I commend President Xi’s vision of a ‘prosperous, clean and beautiful world’ and initiative to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060,” the premier said on Thursday while addressing the 20th anniversary of Junsao Assistance and Sustainable Development Cooperation.
The prime minister said that poverty alleviation and tackling climate change are key priorities of his government. “We launched a wide-ranging social safety programme called ‘Ehsaas’, with the objective of uplifting marginalised people, eradicating poverty, and supporting vulnerable households,” he added.
PM Imran said that extreme poverty had been steadily declining in the past two decades with relentless efforts towards ending poverty in all its manifestations. However, he added, the Covid-19 pandemic triggered an economic meltdown which has slowed down global progress. “The extreme poverty rose in 2020 for the first time in over 20 years.”
He said that the achievement of food security, and improved nutrition, have become an even greater challenge for developing countries.
He said that the “Ehsaas Emergency Cash” programme cushioned the most vulnerable part of the population from economic shocks of the Covid-19 pandemic.
As one of the most climate-vulnerable countries, he added, Pakistan fully supported international efforts to combat this scourge. “Under a well-articulated climate change and environmental agenda, consisting of a number of flagship green initiatives, we are progressing towards a Clean and Green Pakistan.”
The premier said that Pakistan has planted a billion trees as part of the government’s 10 Billion Tree Project which is one of the most ambitious efforts to expand and restore forests.
“Our green initiatives resonate with the ‘United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030’. We hope it will contribute to preventing, halting, and reversing the degradation of ecosystems,” he added.
The premier said that the innovative Junsao technology – at the confluence of poverty alleviation and sustainable development – suits the society and economy. “Such innovative, affordable and eco-friendly technologies may help catalyse our progress towards achieving the first two Sustainable Development Goals: no poverty and zero hunger,” he added.
“Our national poverty graduation programme, which empowers people by providing livelihood, creating assets and trainings, can play a vital role in collaboration with Junsao technology.”
He concluded by expressing resolve and commitment to international cooperation aimed at poverty alleviation and sustainable growth as well as addressing climate change.