UNDP and South Punjab Secretariat launch two SDGs reports for Equitable Development in Punjab

Speaking on the occasion Additional Chief Secretary South Punjab, Capt. (R) Saqib Zafar said, “The Govt of Punjab has always cherished the friendship with UNDP for SDGs mainstreaming and localization in the province

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Multan (VOM) —Aligned with the commitment to promote sustainable development equitably across Punjab, a UNDP Pakistan mission led by Resident Representative, Mr. Knut Ostby, met with Additional Chief Secretary South Punjab, Capt. (R) Saqib Zafar to launch District SDGs Profiles and South Punjab SDGs Indicators Reports. These reports are a flagship initiative of UNDP Pakistan’s Punjab SDGs Unit, developed in collaboration with the Planning & Development Department, South Punjab.

The South Punjab SDGs Indicators Report is the first report of its kind providing a regional focus that will help formulate data-driven and evidence-based policies and plans for South Punjab’s regional development. The District SDGs Profiles Report is also an important step in localizing the SDGs Agenda 2030 at the district level and will serve as an important policy guidance tool for district administrations to achieve SDGs within their respective districts.

Speaking on the occasion Additional Chief Secretary South Punjab, Capt. (R) Saqib Zafar said, “The Govt of Punjab has always cherished the friendship with UNDP for SDGs mainstreaming and localization in the province. This strategic partnership between UNDP and South Punjab Secretariat is critical for South Punjab regional development and accomplishing Agenda 2030 across Punjab. The two reports on District SDGs profiles and South Punjab SDGs indicators are the beginning of a new regime in South Punjab with evidence-based policymaking and informed development interventions.”

The launch event provided an opportunity for the leadership to discuss the social, economic, and environmental development challenges of the area, underscoring the role of South Punjab development as a strategic priority for the effective implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the region. The participants also deliberated on existing development priorities, ongoing interventions, and future collaborations between UNDP and the South Punjab Secretariat to reduce long-standing regional disparities and develop an equitable model of development as part of the Leave No One Behind approach of SDGs.

“UNDP is providing technical support and strategic partnership to South Punjab to reduce regional inequalities. We are working together for the effective localization of Sustainable Development Goals to leave no one behind. The Punjab SDGs Unit, in collaboration with the P&D Department Punjab, has computed over 40 indicators to fill data gaps with a regional focus on South Punjab. District SDGs profiles will provide a snapshot of the performance of each district to ensure evidence-based policymaking and sustainable development in South Punjab,” said Mr. Knut Ostby, Resident Representative, UNDP Pakistan.

Other notable participants included Ms. Ammara Durrani, Assistant Resident Representative, Development Policy Unit, UNDP Pakistan; Mr. Shoeb Iqbal Syed, Secretary P&D South Punjab; Mr. Umer Akhlaq Malik, Policy Analyst, Development Policy Unit, UNDP Pakistan; Mr. Muhammad Rashid, Assistant Chief Policy & Reform; and Ms. Maheen Rashid, OIC/Economic Policy Analyst, Punjab SDGs Unit.

South Punjab’s comprehensive regional development is central to UNDP Pakistan’s Punjab SDGs Unit’s work, which has been closely collaborating with South Punjab’s Secretariat to gauge the need for evidence and analysis for South Punjab’s decision-making process. Other significant ongoing initiatives of the Punjab SDGs Unit include socio-economic baseline profiling of South Punjab; formulation of district SDGs localization plans for Multan, Bahawalpur, and Rahim Yar Khan; impact assessment of the Violence against Women Center Multan; and policy support to P&D department, aimed to ensure inclusive and equitable development in South Punjab, to Leave No One Behind.

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