COVID-19: crisis leaves 360,000 jobless in Balochistan
Unemployment ratio continues to increase as result of continued lockdown
By Our Staff Reporter
QUETTA: The prevailing lockdown in the aftermath of the outbreak of novel coronavirus has left 360,000 people jobless in Balochistan, Pakistan’s resource-rich province. The impacts are likely to intensify, if the lockdown/crisis persists in the province, lagging behind all provinces of the country in terms of key social indicators.
This was revealed by “Strategic Planning Reforms Cell” established at Balochistan’s Planning and Development Department (P&D). The Cell thoroughly briefed the chief minister Jam Kamal Khan and cabinet members with regard to the impacts of COVID-19 on poverty and unemployment in the province.
Pre-corona unemployment coupled with current crisis took the tally of jobless to 470,000 people in Balochistan.
The number of poor households has already jumped to 1,090,000 as of today and this is likely to increase further in the coming months in Balochistan, the chief minister was told. If the crisis persisted, the ratio of poverty and unemployment would further increase in Balochistan.
The Cell has proposed a “Social Protection and Development Interventions” to protect the poorest and vulnerable groups in this pandemic and provide livelihood support post-pandemic.
The vulnerable and poorest should be provided with food/ration packages to support them during the prevailing crisis, the Cell suggested.
The Balochistan government had imposed a lockdown on March 24th to halt the spread of novel coronavirus. The lockdown has been now extended till April 21st in Quetta and other parts of Balochistan to contain the virus, which continues to penetrate globally. The province has so far confirmed 206 cases of coronavirus with two deaths caused by it.