UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan has called on the international community to develop a post-pandemic development framework to recover from the shocks of the Covid-19 crisis.
At the 2021 meeting of the United Nations Development Cooperation Forum (DCF) in New York, Pakistan proposed involving each region in the fight against the pandemic, noting that “each region, country and community has the experience and knowledge to share. “
In his keynote address at the forum on Saturday, the special assistant to the Prime Minister for Social Security, Dr. Sania Nistar, stressed the need for a new approach to tackling the pandemic and its social and economic impact.
“It is a moral imperative for the international system to prioritize the creation of a post-Covid development framework – a framework that can bring together stakeholders to create the response needed to better mitigate risks and recover from shocks,” she said.
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UN Ambassador to Pakistan Munir Akram, who also heads the UN Economic and Social Council, stressed the need to help developing countries tackle the pandemic, reduce risks and build resilience. “This approach to tackling challenges and preventing crises must become part of the new DNA of development cooperation,” he said.
The DCF meeting brought together governments, international organizations, development banks and charities to consider ways to tackle Covid-19 and future crises.
Speaking in practice from Islamabad, Dr. Nishtar informed participants how the Ehsaas program enabled the government to limit the first wave of the pandemic with intelligent locking. The government, she said, has successfully tackled health risks without exacerbating the socio-economic damage caused by the pandemic.
“Our 24 million dependents, who rely on a daily wage or are self-employed, were virtually on the verge of a devastating loss of income,” Dr Nishtar said as he explained how Pakistan had coped with the difficult situation.
She warned that even when the pandemic ended, the world would continue to face its consequences. “Streamlining and maximizing all forms of cooperation will be more important than ever in times of shrinking global finances,” she said.
Noting that some major international donors have already announced record cuts in their programs, Dr Nishtar said: “The irony is that during a crisis, we should strive to strengthen solidarity, not weaken it.”
Ambassador Akram proposed strengthening the national capacity system, increasing development and concession funding, and strengthening solidarity. “Placing the farthest back must first be at the heart of our efforts,” he said.
The levels of official development assistance (ODA) must be restored, the established SDRs must be used and unallocated SDRs must be provided to support development, the ambassador said.
The SDR is an international reserve asset created by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to supplement the official reserves of member countries. The IMF currently provides about $ 250 billion to member countries, a quarter of its $ 1 trillion lending capacity.
Published in Dawn, May 10, 2021