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LAHROE: In a significant move aligning with the government of Punjab’s vision for robust and sustainable economic growth, a financing agreement for the second generation Punjab SDGs Plus Project was signed by Chairman Planning and Development Board, Punjab, Iftikhar Ali Sahoo, and the Resident Representative UNDP Pakistan.

The ceremony, held at P&D Board Punjab Complex on Thursday, marked a deepening partnership between the two entities to further the goals of Agenda 2030.

Key figures present at the signing ceremony included Secretary P&D, Muzaffar Khan, Senior Advisor, Dr Hafiz Pasha; and UNDP DRR Van Nguyen, among others.

Despite successful collaborative efforts between the government of Punjab and UNDP Pakistan, certain gains faced setbacks due to the 2022 floods and the impact of COVID-19, particularly affecting the most vulnerable districts.

In response, Punjab is now seeking a comprehensive push for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), focusing on high-intensity economic reforms and accelerator pathways in priority policy areas.

In continuation of Punjab’s development agenda and drawing on the lessons learned from the initial cycle of the SDGs Project, the SDGs Plus Project in Punjab aims to strengthen policy integration, evidence-based decision-making, resilient institutional capacities, diversified partnerships, innovative financing, and integration of climate resilience, innovation, social protection, and inclusion.

This comprehensive ‘SDG Push’ aligns with the province’s priorities and is anchored by an integrated framework with three key areas: internalizing SDGs, financing for development and climate resilience, and evidence-based social protection, innovation, and inclusive development in Punjab.

Dr Hafiz A Pasha, Senior Advisor, P&D Board, highlighted the significance of the SDGs Plus programme, emphasizing the need for resource mobilization, social protection, and inclusive development in Punjab.

Iftikhar Ali Sahoo commended the strong partnership between P&D Board and UNDP, expressing commitment to the Punjab SDGs Plus Project as a means to propel the region towards economic, social, and environmental prosperity.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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