Human rights watchdog to Govt: Hurry up Relief Efforts

With 2419 confirmed cases of Covid19 and 34 deaths, Pakistan has the highest number of cases in the South Asian region. The federal government of PM Imran Khan, however, believes that he doesn’t really need to panic, and things will work themselves out!

Pakistan’s leading human rights organization, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) alerted “authorities to the growing frustration among vulnerable families over unnecessary delays in providing them with food rations and other necessities. HRCP believes that the lack of clarity at the level of the federal government – where the Prime Minister apparently takes a different view of the pandemic from other government functionaries – is exacerbating the situation. This delay is likely to create law and order problems sooner than later and could lead to food riots. Instead of wasting further time in creating new entities, existing human resources should be mobilised immediately to distribute rations. These include the courageous polio vaccinators, lady health workers, and trained volunteers of the Civil Defence and Red Crescent, who already have proven access to people at the household level across Pakistan. Local civil society organisations can also be used for this purpose under a coordinated plan. HRCP also demands the restoration of the suspended local governments in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Without functioning local governments, any relief effort will remain an uphill task.”

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