Many research studies concluded that the developing nations are trying their best to return an ideal growth path and providing high-quality care for their citizens and as these nations also need to decrease the poverty rate to attain economic targets the question arise that where should these nations set their sights completely — on rising productivity or per capita income in their regions, or focus on actions to enhance the situation for the poor people? As nations begin to address these challenges, it will be essential to determine whether their responses are effective and important.
Pakistan is soon emerging into a developed state and in this regard the present Government of Pakistan is engaged in reducing poverty, almost completely by 2030. Over the past eras, Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) firmly acting as an apex organization, has been performing very major role in reducing the poverty across the country. According to the official published statistical report 2017, PPAF has disbursed an amount of almost Rs184.94 billion to its 134 partner organizations (POs) in 130 districts in Pakistan, since its inception in April 2000 to March 2017. PPAF also supports the government’s social protection program through offering a poverty graduation approach for the poorest household i.e. more than 1,600 union councils in Pakistan.
The report also showed that during the same period, 8.4 million individuals availed the PPAF microcredit financing; 440,000 credit groups and 132,500 community organizations formed, 108,000 ultra and vulnerable poor households accepted productive assets, 111,000 individuals trained by managerial and entrepreneurial/skills training events, 36,300 water and infrastructure projects successfully completed; 2,000 health and education facilities supported; 282,000 interest free loans disbursed by PMIFL (Prime Minister Interest Free Loan) scheme, 26,000 individuals counting youth and women trained on enterprise development under Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) and facilitated in organizing their successful venture, and 30,800 persons with disabilities rehabilitated.
In September 2016, PMIC (Pakistan Microfinance Investment Company) organized and began its operation as a separate legal entity in December 2016 by taking over PPAF’s portfolio in the microfinance sector. During FY2017 (July to March), PPAF also has disbursed an amount of almost Rs9.207 billion to its POs under PPAF core interventions administered by various operational units. The report further revealed that during the same period, a total of 646 COs (community organizations) were formed and 5,488 community and PO staff members were trained under institutional development & social mobilization component.
Similarly, under LEED (livelihood, employment and enterprise development) component, 6,951 individuals received skills/entrepreneurial training and 3,212 productive assets were transferred ultra and vulnerable poor. Total 246,142 new microcredit loans were enlarged to the borrowers counting 60 percent women borrowers. 485 water and infrastructure subprojects were initiated benefiting 352,853 persons.
Under health and education component, 754 educational and 97 health facilities were supported during the period. 75,655 students were supported and 148,276 patients were treated under various ailments. 93,427 interest free loans were disbursed by PMIFL scheme. 79 PWDs (persons with disabilities) were also rehabilitated. Overall, these projects and interventions benefited about 0.9 million poor and marginalized population counting 54 percent women beneficiaries during the reporting period.
No doubt, poverty alleviation has becoming one of the emerging issues in the world. So in this gesture, there is urgent need to broaden the network of PPAF. In Pakistan, there is a need to bring in aging programs/schemes that deliver pensions, health care, and employment insurance to the poverty-stricken citizens of Pakistan.