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Current SDGs unrealistic, says Kanwal.

Byline: Fawad Yousafzai

Islamabad -- Terming the current Sustainable Development Goals target unrealistic, Ministry of Planning's Parliamentary Secretary Kanwal Shauzab said that the same should be reframed keeping in view the local ground realities.

The imported agenda of SDGs cannot resolve the issue of poverty and it is required to be reframed as per the local conditions, Kanwal Shauzab said while talking to a group of journalists here.

The parliamentary secretary said that reprioritisation of development programme would be done to achieve social-sector goals.

Kanwal Shauzab said that Voluntary National Review for SDGs would be ready by June 2019 as work was underway in consultation with all stakeholders for achieving the desired goals under the SDGs.

She revealed that Pakistan had not yet worked out exact financing requirement attached to achieve the SDGs and to achieve these goals without the commitment from international community for financing looked really too much ambitious.

She said that SDGs did not require only paper work as these could be achieved through practical steps that priorities of the goals should be adapt.

She said that a human development condition in her native district of Southern Punjab was indicating prevalence of an alarming situation. Citing an example of just one hospital in south Punjab, Kanwal said that 85 percent of the total 1.38 million outdoor patients in Bhawal Victoria Hospital, Bhawalpur in last 8 months were seeking kidney dialysis. Contaminated water-borne diseases are spreading among the residents of Bahawalpur, she said.

Ironically, the people were demanding more dialysis machines instead of getting provision of clean drinking water, she said.

Kanwal said that they were working on developing civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) for the identification of 30 percent gap in our data as it could help in achieving the SDGs by 2030. She said that the CRVS was the compulsory, continuous, universal and permanent recording of all vital events such as birth and deaths.

From these records, vital statistics (VS) on birth, death; cause of death, fertility and mortality (where migration data is also available) can be produced for policy and planning. It could help connecting data from birth registration to all important events of all individuals' life for achieving the SDGs targets and tracking all other requirements and obligations, she said.

She questioned that how the SDGs target could be achieved when the acute poverty prevailed in many parts of the country, especially in Southern Punjab.

In reply to a query about costing for achieving SDGs, the Parliamentary Secretary said that the work was underway along with stakeholders but being signatory of all goals, the federal government would have to re-prioritise the development requirements even after enactment of 18th Amendment.

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Publication:The Nation (Karachi, Pakistan)
Date:Jan 15, 2019
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