Pakistan has made significant strides in alleviating poverty and improving living standards of citizens. Over the past two decades, the number of people living in poverty has reduced by half. Despite these advances, the number of people vulnerable to falling into poverty remains high. Furthermore, the benefits of the afore-mentioned gains have not been distributed evenly across income groups and regions, which has given rise to issues of vertical and horizontal inequality. In particular, certain regions of Pakistan appear to be trapped in poverty for a long time.
Identified on the basis of scores in the Multi-Dimensional Poverty Index (MPI), the selected 20 districts include 11 districts from Balochistan, 5 from Sindh, 3 from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and 1 from the Punjab.
The tentative menu of interventions in these 20 districts fall under five areas:
1) Physical Connectivity:Involves NHA connectivity road, urban-urban roads, farm-market roads, and border point connectivity roads
2) Power & Digital Connectivity: Comprising of internet facilities, solarization, and LPG terminals
3) Productive Sectors & Livelihoods: Including SEZs, dairy farming, tunnel farming, agro-livestock, common border markets, and industrial setup
4) Social Development: Scholarship schemes for students of these districts and skills development via outsourced programs
5) Social Protection: Enhance BISP coverage in these districts, ensure Waseela-e-Taleem program, and access to Sehat Sahulat Card