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The second Policy Advocacy Workshop of the Balochistan Rural Development and Community Empowerment (BRACE) Programme was held on Tuesday at Serena Hotel Quetta. The event was attended by the dignitaries from the Government of Balochistan including Minister for Planning and Development, Mir Zahoor Buledi, Minister for Food Engineer Zamrak Khan Achakzai, Member of Provincial Assembly Mir Younas Aziz Zehri, Member of Provincial Assembly Akhtar Hussain Langove, Member of Provincial Assembly Abdul Qadir Nail, Member of Provincial Assembly Asghar Khan Tareen, Member of National Assembly Molvi Kamal Uddin.
” All this country needs is sincerity, there is no dearth of resources or intelligence. We can only break this vicious cycle of intergenerational poverty if we all think of the collective good of the country and put our personal gains need to take a backseat. The EU funded BRACE Programme can only be sustained if the local bodies play its designated role after they are being empowered and equipped” remarked Member of National Assembly Molvi Kamal Uddin
The Chief Guest thanked European Union for funding the BRACE Programme and commended the role played by the RSPs in mobilising rural communities and empowering women in Baluchistan. Observing the impact of the EU-funded BRACE Programme in 10 districts, he recommended the EU to upscale the Programme to benefit other districts of the province. He assured cooperation and support on behalf of the government of Balochistan.
The event presented research evidence from the field to policy makers and relevant stakeholders. According to Research conducted in districts Kech, Khuzdar and Loralai, the Programme provided support to the poorest households in the form of Income Generating Grants (4800 beneficiaries received on average Rs. 47000), interest-free micro loans (2700 beneficiaries received on average Rs. 27,500) and technical and vocational training. These interventions increased their monthly incomes from Rs. 1600-3300 and helped 47-51% of the beneficiaries to come out of poverty. Another research study also confirms the overall decline in the poorest households in these districts..
” Policies are formulated at the federal level, there needs to be devolution of power at the provincial level. Balochistan is blessed with natural resources but we are still deprived of the basic amenities such as clean drinking water, health, and education. Balochistan needs to be empowered and should be put in charge of its own growth. We, the elected representatives need to put in place legislation so that we can voice the most pressing needs of the people who elected us instead of talking peripheral issues such as sewerage and transformers” remarked Minister Food- Engineer Zamrak Khan Achakzai.