President, PM Approve
Islamabad: President Gen. Pervez
Musharaf has approved a six-year expansion plan for the National
Commission for Human Development to reach all districts of
Pakistan.The Prime Minister Mr. Shaukat Aziz also attended
this meeting, held at the President’s office on July
NCHD was set up in 2002 as a fast track initiative by the
Government of Pakistan as a public private partnership to
help Pakistan achieve Millennium Development Goals such as
Universal Education, Lowering of Infant and Maternal Mortality
and Population Growth Rate as well as Community Development.
Chairman National Commission for Human Development and Minister
of State Dr. Nasim Ashraf gave a detailed presentation highlighting
the achievements of NCHD from 2002-2005. He reported the Committee
that 1.5 million children previously out of school had been
enrolled as a result of the Universal Primary Education Program
launched by NCHD in 17 districts. Nearly 9000 new community-based
Primary Schools were opened in the remote areas and the dropout
rate has been reduced from 50% to 17%. Over 19,000 government
primary teachers have also been trained.
Musharraf presides over the meeting that accorded approval
to the NCHD Plan
The Prime Minister stated that
Pakistan was committed to achieving the Millennium Development
Goals and increasing literacy rates over the next five years.
In this regard he appreciated the role of NCHD which has opened
8,800 Adult Literacy Centers in 53 districts in which 85%
of the learners are female. It is planned that over the next
five years nearly 2, 50,000 Adult Literacy Centers will be
opened in all districts of Pakistan by NCHD.
The President said that clean safe drinking water would be
made available to every citizen of Pakistan over the next
two years as well as electricity provided to every village
in Pakistan. He said Federal and Provincial Governments have
drawn up a comprehensive package under the Khush Hal Pakistan
Program to provide these basic services to the people. The
President said the NCHD has a key role to play in delivering
a comprehensive Human Development package at the grassroots
to include Education, Health Care and Capacity Development.
Dr. Nasim Ashraf furnished the results achieved in the Health
area said that nearly two million mothers have been trained
in preparing Oral Rehydrations Solution (ORS) at home which
is a very low cost way of reducing child mortality. Immunization
rates have doubled both for women and children in the 17 districts.
NCHD is a support organization which helps to fill implementation
gaps at the grass roots level in support of the government
The Chairman also said that nearly 1 billion rupees (US$ 16.5
million) have been raised by NCHD/PHDF over the last 3 years
from individual philanthropist, corporate donors and international
agencies in support of this initiative in which the government
has contributed Rs. 2 billion to NCHD. The fund is managed
by an independent board of directors with no government control.
Each founding director has personally contributed US$ 100,000
to this fund. UNDP is the other partner in this fund and all
donations in the United States are routed through UNDP and
are tax deductible.
Nearly 40,000 volunteers have been mobilized in 30,000 villages
to help in enrollment, reduce drop out and provide support
The new expansion plan would require the NCHD to add 33 more
districts this year and the remaining districts to be covered
by 2007. Nearly 17 million children will be enrolled over
the next 5 years and combined with the Adult Literacy Program,
the literacy rate for the country is targeted to increase
from the current 54% to 85% by 2010-11. Similarly, infant
mortality and maternal mortality rates are targeted to be
reduced by 50% and the population growth rate stabilized at
1.7% from the current 1.9%.
Both the President and the Prime Minister appealed to Pakistanis
all over the world to come forward and join in this national
effort by contributing their financial and intellectual resources.
They committed that for every dollar donated by Pakistanis
to PHDF/NCHD, the Government of Pakistan would match with
2 dollars. They assured the donors that the control will continue
with the private sector board with full transparency and accountability.
Audited accounts and expenditures are posted on the website
of NCHD on a quarterly basis. UNDP monitors the field activities
as well as expenditures.
The President said it was a matter of great pride that this
initiative has been recognized by UNDP as an international
best practice and that several countries including China are
studying this model for replication in their countries.