CPEC’s second phase to help reduce poverty in Pakistan

March 01, 2024

Ayesha Saba

The seamless execution of multiple initiatives aimed at socioeconomic development under the framework of CPEC will go a long way in alleviating poverty and enhancing the quality of life in Pakistan. Talking to WealthPK, Jamshed Ahmed, Investment and Industrial Specialist at CPEC Authority, Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, said that after the successful implementation of Phase-I, CPEC had now entered the second phase, which primarily focuses on industrial and agriculture cooperation, science and technology, renewable energy, socioeconomic development and information technology. He stated that the core vision underlying the socioeconomic projects to be executed under CPEC was reducing poverty and ensuring overall welfare of Pakistani people. “These projects span across critical sectors, particularly healthcare and education.” “Noteworthy is the substantial investment allocated by the Chinese government, currently estimated at $1 billion, in various projects in these sectors.

This allocation underscores a significant commitment from the Chinese side, and has the potential to further augment funding in the foreseeable future,” he said. He said that major projects having been identified so far included providing solar power equipment, conducting training courses, enhancing capacity of National Disaster Management Authority and carrying out joint research on poverty reduction in rural areas. “Two projects have been included in water supply sector – provision of drinking water equipment and construction of Gwadar desalination plant.” “Under solar power equipment project, the Chinese side provided solar panels, which were installed on rooftops in Gwadar in collaboration with NGOs as part of the social economic integration programme.” He also revealed the details of some other projects, including China-Pakistan joint agricultural demonstrations, bacterial grass (Juncao) technology training and promotion project, agricultural vocational training, provision of teaching material to primary and secondary schools, joint telemedicine network and Punjab-Tianjin University of Technology.

The CPEC Authority official said that the socioeconomic development held paramount importance as the successful execution of projects promised uplifting impoverished communities, fostering job creation, enhancing quality of life and catalysing economic and social progress. “The government is committed to expediting the implementation of socioeconomic projects.” The Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives launched a five-year (2022-27) project for the 20 poorest districts across Pakistan at a cost of Rs40 billion. Based on scores attained through Multidimensional Poverty Index, 11 districts were identified in Balochistan, five in Sindh, three in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and one in Punjab.

INP: Credit: INP-WealthPk