SEATTLE, Washington — In February of 2016, Pakistan became the first country to sign and incorporate its own Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The country’s leaders were unsatisfied with the Millennium Development Goals set by the United Nations, so they created their own, more specific aims. The country’s main focus was to come up with tangible items that it could achieve by the year 2030. These goals include reducing poverty and hunger as well as the overall well-being of its citizens. These goals should help the country combat poverty in Pakistan.
Pakistan’s Sustainable Development Goals
Pakistan has set its own SDGs. By 2030, Pakistan goals to alleviate hunger and poverty are:
- To reduce its total population above the international poverty line ($1.90 purchasing power parity per day) from 24.3% to 19% by 2023.
- To reduce multi-dimensional poverty from 38.8% of the population to 30% by 2023. Multi-dimensional poverty measures factors other than income, such as health, education and access to electricity. This helps identify a more comprehensive list of disadvantages people face.
- Increase the budget for social spending by $481 million in 2019-20 and $721 million in 2020-21.
- To reduce the stunting of children under five years old from malnourishment. By 2019, it had already decreased by 9%.
Plan of Action
To achieve these goals, the federal government must delegate its power to the smaller provinces. Here, local leaders will have a better grasp of how to help their local citizens. In fact, the Planning Commission has created provincial development departments (P&DDs), which will contribute by creating “six prerequisites for successfully implementing the SDGs.”
These P&DDs need to track the amount of spending they are doing on specific SDG projects to coordinate most effectively with other provinces. This will also give the federal Pakistan government the ability to adequately track its budget. Tracking will be vital to ensuring that it spends the appropriate amount per goal set.
On top of this, the government has created a nonpartisan task force that is purely in charge of allocating funds and keeping a focus on the objective goals that have been set. This will prevent politicians from taking attention away from the issues set out and make sure specialists are working on the problems full time.
Where Pakistan Is Now
As of 2019, Pakistan has lowered its percent of the population below the poverty line to 24%. The country has 15% to go in the next 10 years to stay on target. The Pakistan government is currently monitoring other tangible goals through the Voluntary National Review. The Voluntary National Review will have the statistics to tell if the country is on pace adequately.
The leadership and objective goals that Pakistan has incorporated for itself are promising features moving into the future. These SDGs serve as an excellent opportunity to make progress in combatting poverty in Pakistan. The country has incorporated think tanks, a nonpartisan section of government and the focus of its leaders to increase the chances of achieving a better place to live for its citizens. If successful, other countries could use this model to do the same.
– Aiden Farr