Pakistan is one of the most rapidly urbanising countries in the sub-region. Its urban population of 58 million (2000) accounts for 37% of the national population and is growing at 4.5% per annum, which is more than twice the growth rate of rural population. While urbanisation has brought many benefits to a growing population, 35 to 40% of urban population lives in slum areas under abject poverty and associated problems like poor access to basic urban services have been a major concern. The estimates of population below the poverty line vary from 22.4% to 50% but there is a growing consensus among policy makers that urban poverty is on the rise. The situation is especially serious in slums where the vast majority live without secure tenure and adequate access to drinking water, adequate sanitation, and solid waste service. Cognizance of this trend, the Government of Pakistan places high priority to poverty alleviation through community empowerment (The 9th Five Year Plan). In this context and building on previous project PLUS (Poverty for Improvement of Livelihoods in Urban Settlements), UNDP/Pakistan has launched a comprehensive National Urban Poverty Alleviation Program. The Program will be implemented in 5 provinces (Punjab, Sindh, Baluchistan, NWFP and Azad Jammu & Kashmir) over 5 years. UN-HABITAT was requested by UNDP to help develop an implementing program and underlying approaches in a broad-based participatory manner.
The two-day workshop was held successfully with the participation of 25 experts and policy makers from five provinces (12 target cities), government, UNDP officials and UN-HABITAT. Detailed work plan and a logical framework were prepared by the group based on a common understanding of the concepts involved in attacking poverty.
UNDP, Provincial Governments of Punjab, Sindh, Baluchistan, NWFP and Azad Jammu & Kashmir, Municipal Governments of 12 Cities