UN Assistant Secretary-General and UNDP Regional Director Kanni Wignaraja talking to girls students in Quetta: Photo taken from the X account of the UNDP

Syed Ali Shah:

QUETTA: In the vast and rugged landscape of Balochistan, where challenges ranging from climate change impacts to educational disparities persist, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has emerged as a beacon of hope, spearheading initiatives to tackle these pressing issues head-on.

With climate change wreaking havoc on communities and ecosystems across the globe, Balochistan has not been spared from its effects. In response, the UNDP has been implementing a series of projects in collaboration with various stakeholders, including civil society, government bodies, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). These projects aim to mitigate the impacts of climate change, rehabilitate flood-affected areas like Hanna Urak in Quetta, provide skill trainings and financial aid to improve livelihood, and enhance access to education, particularly for girls.

Flood and earthquake resilient house model prepared by UNDP.

UNDP Supporting 43 Schools To Improve Educational Opportunities For Girls

In a region where the female literacy rate hovers at a mere 17 percent, the UNDP’s focus on improving educational opportunities for girls is particularly crucial. By supporting the rehabilitation of 43 schools in four districts of Balochistan, the UNDP aims to provide over 8,000 students, predominantly girls, with improved learning facilities. This concerted effort not only empowers girls with education but also paves the way for a more equitable and prosperous future for the entire region.

UN Assistant Secretary-General and UNDP Regional Director Kanni Wignaraja, UNDP Balochistan Chief Zulfiqar Durrani at at girls school in Quetta: Photo taken from the X account of the UNDP

Nine Oxygen plants set to be installed in public hospitals across Balochistan

Furthermore, recognizing the importance of access to healthcare, the UNDP is set to install nine oxygen plants in public hospitals across Balochistan, including the renowned Sheikh Zayed Hospital in Quetta. This initiative seeks to enhance the healthcare infrastructure and capacity of these facilities, thereby improving access to vital medical services for communities across the province.

UN Assistant Secretary-General and UNDP Regional Director Kanni Wignaraja witnessing the Oxygen Plant: Photo taken from the X account of UNDP

UN Assistant Secretary-General Kanni Wignaraja Reviews Projects In Balochistan

Recently, UN Assistant Secretary-General and UNDP Regional Director Kanni Wignaraja visited Quetta to assess the progress of these initiatives alongside UNDP Balochistan Chief Zulfiqar Durrani. During her visit, she held detailed discussions with Chief Minister Balochistan, Mir Sarfaraz Bugti, reaffirming the UNDP’s commitment to supporting the government of Balochistan in addressing the region’s most pressing challenges. As these projects continue to unfold, they stand as testament to the transformative power of international cooperation and collective action in building a more resilient and sustainable future for Balochistan and its people.

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About the Author

Quetta Voice is an English Daily covering all unfolding political, economic and social issues relating to Balochistan, Pakistan's largest province in terms of area. QV's main focus is on stories related to education, promotion of quality education and publishing reports about out of school children in the province. QV has also a vigilant eye on health, climate change and other key sectors.