Pakistan’s unemployment rate is 5.17 percent: SEARCH

KARACHI: Executive Director, Society for Environmental Actions, Reconstruction & Humanitarian response (SEARCH), Waheed Jamali, said on Monday that Pakistan’s unemployment rate is 5.17% and will rise to 5.29% in 2014 due to the prevailing political unrest plaguing the country.

In a statement on the occasion of 8th South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Summit to be held on 26-27 November 2014 in Nepal, Jamali said that deeper integration for peace and prosperity has been chosen as the theme for the upcoming 18th Summit, which will further focus on control of unmanaged urbanization and minimization of environmental pollution, impact of climate change and natural disasters.

Moreover, the summit will also propose to employ youths of the region tapping their creativity and to eradicate illiteracy by 2030.

He said: “If we look at the theme and issues highlighted by SAARC for the 18th Summit, these are mostly our domestic rather than the region, because Pakistan has been ranked on 57th number on the Global Hunger Index and according to National Nutrition Survey 2011, almost 63 percent population of our country is food unsecure, lives in poverty and one out of six faces a daily battle of finding enough food to eat.”

“According to The Global Unemployment Trends of ILO, Pakistan’s unemployment rate is 5.17% and will rise to 5.29% in 2014 due to the kind of political unrest plaguing the country.”

He said: “Pakistan is facing the brunt of the environmental, social and economic impacts of climate change and it has further increased the vulnerability. Pakistan is facing five major risks related to climate change. Those include rise in sea level, glacial retreats, floods, higher average temperature and higher frequency of droughts. It is therefore estimated that the country incurs financial losses of $5.2 billion annually as a result of environmental degradation. Moreover; the number of issues related to poverty, hunger, unemployment and climate change have been increased the unmanaged urbanization in the country.”

Jamali said: “Making commitments and promises before regional leaders is not a solution, but need to stronger our actions, because “Action speaks louder than words”. We also need to review the progress towards the commitments for 20 points of 17th SAARC Summit known as Addu Declaration held in Addu City of Maldives in 2013.”

He said: “According to CSOs and experts in Pre SAARC consultation meeting arranged by OXFAM-GB on 31st October, 2014 at Islamabad, We needs to go with preparation in 18th SAARC Summit focusing on regional cooperation on informational sharing, ensuring food security, empowerment of women and gender equality, tackling climate change and disasters; which are ultimately the key to strengthen integration, increase peace and prosperity in the country and region.”

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