KP legislators, Parliamentary Task Force on SDGs discuss global pandemic

Peshawar : The Parliamentary Task Force on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Provincial Assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, held an online discussionon Monday in response to the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis. The Task Force met to discuss ways for the provincial legislators to support ongoing governmental relief efforts in response to the global pandemic. The SDG Task Force is a multiparty forum which works toward supporting the government’s progress in achieving the 17 SDGs as part of Pakistan’s commitment toward the global 2030 Agenda. The SDGs are a collection of 17 global goals designed to be a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. SDGs encompass and address all aspects of life, including health, education, livelihoods, poverty, etc. The Convener of the Task Force, Mr. Arif Ahmedzai,Convener/Special Assistant to Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Mines and Minerals, held the meeting on Saturday, 11 April 2020. Additionally, Mr. Zia Ullah Bangash, Advisor to Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Science & Technology and Information Technology; Mr. Zahoor Shakir, Special Assistant to Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Zakat and Ushr; and MPAs including Mr. Syed Fakhar Jahan, Ms. Rehana Ismail, Ms. Humaira Khatoon, Ms. Ayesha Bano, Dr. Asiya Asad, Mr. Babar Saleem Swati, Ms. Asia Khattak, along with UNDP team, attended the meeting. Mr. Arif Ahemdzai said that the Parliament and lawmakers have an opportunity and a constitutional role to play in responding to and supporting efforts to address the crisis and the recovery thereof, noting “it is important for Members and the Task Force to be engaged with government counterparts to ensure legislative readiness to bolster ongoing efforts of support and preparedness for the recovery which will follow.” Mr. Zia Ullah Bangash informed the Members about the initiatives taken in his district by involving all the stakeholders. He stressed upon more coordinated efforts and partnerships between the government and donors, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), NGOs, INGOs, in addition to UN Agencies, along with other stakeholders for coordinated need-based actions at a broader level. The Members emphasized the provision of personal protective equipments (PPEs) to the frontline medical workers. They suggested a database of all relief efforts by different governmental and non-governmental agencies needs to be developed to prevent any duplication and ensure a coordinated response to the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Appreciating the philanthropic activities being undertaken by the Members individually, the convener emphasized the need for a collective response from the Provincial Assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to the current situation.