UN-Habitat launches Pakistan COVID-19 Urban Slum Response Program

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ISLAMBAD: Adviser to Prime Minister on Climate Change, Malik Amin Aslam,  launched pilot phase of  'Pakistan COVID-19 Urban Slums Response Programme' (PCUSRP) to protect urban slum residents from harmful coronavirus.

“The pilot initiative aims to prevent spread of COVID-19 in urban slums as well as empowering local communities to mitigate its economic impact,” he said in his keynote address to the launching ceremony held here at the Ministry of Climate Change.

The pilot phase of the initiative is being implemented in Dhok Hassu and Dhok Mangtal slum areas of the bustling city of Rawalpindi.

The adviser highlighted that the living conditions in the slums are unhealthy and unhygienic while 40 per cent people living in these areas spent their live in one room and another 40 percent in two rooms while one toilet facility is being used by 7-10 persons.

Habitat Program Manager Jawed Khan explained that the program includes innovative tools for creating a virtual community coordination platform, the introduction of intensive disinfectant sprays in hotspots, streets and markets, frequent checking of body temperature through laser guns, installation of handwashing stations, distribution of sanitizers, masks and gloves, the introduction of wash facilities and arrangements for environmentally safe collection and disposal of solid-liquid and hazardous wastes.

The project will also create employment opportunities by engaging the local community to produce masks and gloves and other related activities. UN Habitat will seek cooperation from the interested federal and provincial governments, UN Agencies and donors to join hands in implementing the PCUSRP at the country level.

Minister lauded UN-Habitat and other development partners for providing all-out support regarding the initiative. He appreciated them for timely intervention in the slum areas.

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