The Express Tribune
Published Date: Feb 25, 2020
The state of health and education in Pakistan is in silent emergency, as maternal mortality rate, malnourishment, illiteracy and quality of education is getting deteriorate every day mainly due to lack of investments and little attention. Pakistan needs to project silent emergency in health and education to help channelize the philanthropy, charities and other forms of giving in these sectors.
Experts express these views during a seminar titled “Pakistani diaspora philanthropy: Patterns and motivations of giving of Pakistani diaspora in UK” organised by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) in collaboration with Pakistan Center for Philanthropy (PCP) on Monday in Islamabad.
Prime Minister’s Focal Person on Shelter Homes Project Naseemur Rehman said that Pakistanis by nature are very emotional and less logical when it comes to giving charity and doing philanthropic activities.
He said in loud emergencies, such as earthquake of 2005, Pakistanis had sent so much charity and donations which were even difficult to handle. “However, we failed to project the silent emergency in illiteracy and maternal mortality, which is why these areas are the least focus of foreign assistance as well,” he added.
While commenting on government led initiative of Panagah (Shelter-homes), Naseem said that the whole idea of the Panagah is to provide some relief to the marginalised segment of society who cannot afford even its two-time meal.
Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development Parliamentary Secretary Javaria Zafar Aheer commenting of Financial Action Task Force (FATF), she said the ensuring transparency in philanthropic transactions was also critical and the government with the help of FBR and finance ministry was already working on tracing the suspicious accounts and ensuring accountability to get out of the FATF grey list.
Pakistan Centre for Philanthropy (PCP) Head of Research Dr Umer Khalid, while presenting the finding of their report titled “Pakistani Diaspora Philanthropy in the UK: Trends and Variations” said that the total volume of philanthropic giving in the form of monetary, in-kind and time volunteered is estimated at approximately Rs259 billion, which was donated more in Pakistan, Rs139 billion, than in the UK Rs120 billion.
SDPI Director Policy Dr Shafqat Munir while commenting on the findings of the report said that regardless of the religion and identity giving for individual is important.
He said that in Pakistan for corporate philanthropy there is no system in place for spending and there no strategy of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds spending, which can be proactively and effectively utilized for social development.
Overseas Pakistanis Foundation (OPF) Welfare and Services Additional Director Mustafa Haider also presented his thoughts on the subject and SDPI Project Associate Maryam Shabbir Abbasi moderated the session.