The Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty has adequately highlighted the challenges faced by the countries who receive IMF support. These difficulties are particularly visible while they struggle to navigate through the narrow fiscal space for implementation of their policies for social protection and economic empowerment of their peoples.
We agree with the Special Rapporteur that IMF is the single most influential international actor in relation to fiscal policy as well as social protection. It can also play an important role in tackling growing income inequality and promoting gender equality. In many cases IMF has adopted a rigid one-size-fits-all approach which may not essentially help the poor by imposing hard choices on already resource constraints Governments for resource allocation and subsidies. As pointed out by the Special Rapporteur, the world is now suffering the consequences of the lopsided approach of IMF to globalization. We feel that IMF and other financial institutions created under Bretton Woods Agreement need to consider the points raised by the Special Rapporteur.
On its part, Pakistan has been actively pursuing its policies aimed at lifting its people from poverty. Several steps have been taken to ensure empowerment of women, who are the change-bearers, at the grass root level. Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) is the flagship safety-net program with a particular emphasis on women. It aims to assist poor households with monthly cash transfers to women. BISP has 7.2 million eligible poor households, and disbursed monthly stipends of PKR 40 billion to approximately 5 million women. Prime Minister’s Youth Business Loan, is also empowering the youth for young entrepreneurs by providing them with opportunities for economic self sufficiency.
We would like the Special Rapporteur to elaborate on his recommendations to IMF in assisting States to alleviate the extreme poverty.
I thank you.