PPRP’s next phase in Sindh focuses on women empowerment

February 22, 2024

Ahmed Khan Malik

The Sindh government has embarked upon the next phase of the People’s Poverty Reduction Program (PPRP), focusing on women empowerment and increased livelihood, identified through a poverty scorecard survey, reports WealthPK. The program empowers the local communities by socially and economically enabling them to improve their social status through income-generating grants, interest-free loans, vocational training programs, two-room low-cost housing and enterprise development fund, said an official document of the program. During the last program launched in eight districts, 9817 low-cost houses were constructed, 20011 people got income generation grant and 264 enterprises/business groups were created. One of the biggest achievements of the program is the establishment of a network of women organizations at Mohalla, village and UC level. These women institutions will run the program and will be free in decision-making. “This program is a pioneering initiative of the Sindh Rural Support Organization (SRSO) and the Government of Sindh (GoS) for reducing poverty through the potential of the people,” said GM Samajio, the PPRP team leader.

“The program has some unique features. First, it focuses on women and the poor and poorest households, identified through a PSC survey. Second, it is the first ever major project of the provincial government that is being implemented through community participation. Third, the program is highly intensive in its development packages and coverage, and is concentrated at the union council level,” he explained. The program quickly covered the union councils by organizing communities. Most of its targeted activities have been implemented. It seeks to remove the common hurdles faced by the poor that weaken their social capital. It seeks to create economic/productive assets through a self-help methodology by providing access to community-managed micro loans, income generating grants, and creating employment opportunities by training the youth in technical skills and engaging the local labour in CPI projects. As a result of this program, the European Union (EU) in collaboration with the Sindh government, is implementing “Sindh Union Council and Community Economic Strengthening Support (SUCCESS)” program with a funding of 82 million Euros for the expansion of UCBPRP to additional eight districts, i.e.

Matiari, Sujawal, Tando Allahyar, Tando Muhammad Khan, Qambar Shahdadkot, Larkana, and Dadu, being implemented by three Rural Support Programs (SRSO, NRSP and TRDP). Now, after the successful completion of the first phase, the expansion phase of the Union Council Based Poverty Reduction Program has been started in another six districts, i.e. Khairpur, Sanghar, Umarkot, Mirpur Khas, Thatta and Badin, with the total cost of Rs8.94 billion. The PPRP is based on the Rural Support Programs (RSPs) social mobilization approach to Community Driven Development (CDD), said Hamid Jokhio, Director of Planning PPRP. He said the specific objective was to build up the capacity of the deprived population living in the rural areas through social mobilization to empower the local communities, paying particular attention to empowering women, both socially and economically, enabling them to improve their livelihoods and increase their incomes through Income Generating Grants and Community Investment Funds (CIF), i.e. interest-free loans. The project aims to support the extremely low-income families, providing employable/entrepreneurial skills, preferably to women, and also provide them with shelter in shape of low-cost houses.

INP: Credit: INP-WealthPk