HR ministry gets Rs1.52 bn from EU for orphans, destitute | Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

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HR ministry gets Rs1.52 bn from EU for orphans, destitute

Mumtaz Alvi

ISLAMABAD: The cash-starved and under-staffed Ministry of Human Rights has received Rs1.52 billion from the Economic Affairs Division on behalf of the European Union for improving the lot of orphans, destitute and homeless women under the tag of human rights, The News learnt Monday.

The ministry, created in 2008, has alerted its regional directors in the four provinces to come up with their respective requirements and plans of action within a week, sources at the ministry pointed out.

The regional directors had been asked to identify areas, wherein, the ministry, through its regional establishments, could build the desperately-needed infrastructure for the victims of society such as old homes, vocational centres for destitute women, girls and boys and rehabilitation centres.

Last year, the federal government had offered to release to the ministry Rs40 million under the Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Special Fund and distressed women, but quite astonishingly, just Rs2 million were released, citing the devastating deluges, they revealed and claimed they had no idea where those funds had gone afterwards.

The sources noted that the European Union had provided funds to the ministry so that it could devise an effective strategy for alleviating sufferings of the downtrodden and neglected segments of the society.

When contacted on telephone, the Secretary of the Ministry of Human Rights, Riaz Kayani confirmed the Economic Affairs Division had released a significant amount, which he assured, would be utilised in a transparent manner.

He maintained that the ministry would like the donors to make use of the funds on their own or task a representative or a team to do so while his ministry would monitor the process. “We shall like the donors to get the job done through their own representatives and we will do monitoring in order to ensuring transparent use of funds,” he contended.

Answering a question about the distribution of funds, he explained that all the four regional offices would get Rs380 million each after they would submit their lines of action. The secretary said he would like each regional office to make use of Rs180 million while 200 million be kept in the National Savings to earn profits for carrying out its human rights-related matters and issues in a sustained way.

“This way, the ministry will like the regional offices to generate funds on their own from the investments they would make in the savings schemes and their actions in support of human rights should be tangible. This will hopefully motivate philanthropists to donate for the needy and destitute,” the secretary maintained.

In its initial years, he contended, the ministry must demonstrate commitment and transparency so that funds should come in a big way to address the massive number of human right issues across Pakistan. He pledged the ministry would show zero-tolerance towards nepotism, lethargy and corruption.
Source: The News