Poverty alleviation, tackling climate change government’s key priorities: PM Imran

'Such affordable, eco-friendly technologies may help catalyze progress towards achieving no poverty, zero hunger'


APP September 03, 2021
PM Imran Khan virtually addressing the 20th Anniversary of Juncao Assistance and Sustainable Development Cooperation. PHOTO: APP

ISLAMABAD:

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday termed food security and improved nutrition big challenges for developing countries and said China’s innovative Juncao technology could prove helpful in poverty alleviation and sustainable development.

“​Such innovative, affordable, and eco-friendly technologies may help catalyze our progress towards achieving the first two Sustainable Development Goals: no poverty and zero hunger,” the premier remarked in a video message screened at the forum on the 20th Anniversary of Juncao Assistance and Sustainable Development Cooperation.

Juncao, which is famous as ‘magic grass’, stems from two Chinese characters meaning ‘mushroom’ and ‘grass’. Chinese scientists discovered this breed of grass to be an economical and environment-friendly substitute for timber, traditionally used as a substrate for growing mushrooms.

PM Imran said ​the world at large, and the people of the global south, in particular, were grappling with multiple challenges including climate change, poverty and most of all food insecurity.

He ​congratulated China for hosting the event and Professor Lin Zhanxi for the invention of the Juncao technology.

PM Imran ​further commended China for sharing the technology with over 100 countries, which already benefited thousands of people across the globe over the past 20 years.

He mentioned that ​the technology aided in combating desertification and could be used as food for livestock as it is protein-rich.

The prime minister maintained that sustainable ways of achieving economic recovery, growth, and development were during the pandemic.

Imran added that ​with relentless efforts towards ending poverty in all its manifestations, extreme poverty had been steadily declining in the past two decades.

The premier further termed ​China as a role model for developing countries in poverty alleviation.

“China’s remarkable growth has brought 800 million people out of poverty over the past four decades,” he said.

He lauded the Chinese leadership’s role in combating climate change, commended President Xi’s vision of a “prosperous, clean and beautiful world” and the initiative to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060.

Read Uplift projects must benefit people: Imran

PM Imran said ​poverty alleviation and tackling climate change were his government’s key priorities.

“​We launched a wide-ranging social safety program called ‘Ehsaas’, with the objective of uplifting marginalised people, eradicating poverty, and supporting vulnerable households,” he said.

He ​said the ‘Ehsaas Emergency Cash’ programme cushioned the most vulnerable part of the country’s population from the economic shocks of the Covid-19 pandemic.

​“As one of the most climate-vulnerable countries, Pakistan fully supports international efforts to combat this scourge”, he stated.

Moreover, the premier said the government was progressing towards a ‘Clean and Green’ Pakistan under a well-articulated climate change and environmental agenda, consisting of a number of flagship green initiatives.

PM Imran stated that Pakistan’s green initiatives resonated with the 'United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030', particularly the country’s '10 Billion Tree Project'.

“We hope it will contribute to preventing, halting, and reversing the degradation of ecosystems”, he added.

PM Imran said the country’s National Poverty Graduation Programme - which empowers people by providing livelihood, creating assets, and training - could play a vital role in collaboration with the Juncao technology.

He expressed his commitment to international cooperation aimed at poverty alleviation, sustainable growth, and addressing climate change.

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