Shazia Marri urges parliamentarians to combat climate challenges unitedly

Islamabad: Federal Minister for Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety, Shazia Marri Tuesday urged the parliamentarians to unite to combat climate challenges.

She was addressing a seminar for Asia Pacific Region Parliaments on achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as a guest speaker, arranged by National Assembly of Pakistan and Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Services.

Shazia Marri who is also Chairperson Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) said that BISP as the largest social protection program of the country focuses on building human capital of most vulnerable segments of the society by investing in their education, health and nutrition.

Through the Conditional Cash Transfer program in the field of education, BISP is helping children of vulnerable families to complete their education focusing more on girl’s education through higher incentives to reduce the gender enrolment gap, she added.

Chairperson BISP apprised that over 40% children are stunted in Pakistan. To address this stunting prevention and promote dietary diversity during the first 1000 days, BISP is implementing Benazir Nashonama – a Conditional Cash Transfer program to improve health and nutrition in the country.

She said that the specialized nutritious food is being provided along with immunization and awareness sessions to prevent stunting in future generations.

The federal minister said that Pakistan is confronted by many challenges including the recent unprecedented rainfalls of 2022 resulting in catastrophic floods.

These devastating floods have displaced more than 33 million people in Pakistan and almost 1,347 people have died as a result of this catastrophe.

Despite unusual circumstances BISP has so far disbursed over 24 billion rupees among flood affected families in a short span of time, she added.

At the end, Shazia Marri urged that it is time for us to work in solidarity in order to combat climate challenges and crises.

“Our Parliaments must continue to engage and strategize ways to become climate resilient and mitigate the adverse effects of climate change”, she stressed.

The main purpose of the event was to focus on understanding the way hunger is impacting different segments of society in addition to deliberating on strategies and best practices used world over to overcome hunger and malnutrition on priority basis.