Updated: April 30, 2020 08:42 AM GMT
A slum area of Karachi in Pakistan. Pakistan's government has announced massive funding to help laborers and jobless people deal with the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
Caritas Pakistan has welcomed a multi-billion-rupee relief package announced by Prime Minister Imran Khan to help laborers and jobless people deal with the fallout of the coronavirus restrictions.
The scheme costing 75 billion rupees (US$460 million) was announced just two days before Pakistan marks International Labour Day on May 1.
The federal cabinet presided over by Khan approved the cash support program for people who have lost their livelihoods due to the Covid-19 pandemic that has already claimed 346 lives and infected nearly 16,000 in Pakistan.
Addressing a press conference, Federal Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar said a new portal was being launched to register laborers and jobless people.
“God willing, we aim to support around four to six million people through this program. And be reminded this will be in addition to 120 million people who have been receiving support under the US$8 billion Ehsaas Program. Under the package, each jobless man will be provided with 12,000 rupees cash,” Azhar said.
Mansha Noor, executive secretary of Caritas Karachi, welcomed the government’s relief package.
“It’s a good step by the government to provide relief to daily wagers and laborers. These are the most vulnerable and neglected segment of society and are not entitled to any social security programme,” Noor told UCA News.
He urged the government to prepare a database of people associated with the informal sector. “The government should also consider and include home-based workers and fishermen in this package. They often get neglected by aid programs,“ he said.
Caritas Karachi and Sindh Rangers joined hands to distribute food on April 28 among fishermen families in Dabla Mohallah, Rehri Goth and Bin Qasim Town to help them cope with the effects of a prolonged lockdown and ease their problems during the holy month of Ramadan.
“We provided food hampers to 120 families located on the Arabian Sea coast, home to a large community of fishermen, with each family receiving a bag of containing food items for their daily needs on their doorstep,” Noor said.
“We are also very grateful to The Light of Hope welfare organization for their kind support to coordinate and facilitate the whole process to support these needy families by providing food hampers.”
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