ISLAMABAD: The Population Coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) has urged Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Umar Ata Bandial to review progress on the implementation of the plan of action approved by Council of Common Interests (CCI) in 2018 following a suo motu notice by the Supreme Court on the alarming high population growth rate in the country.

In its message, the CSO expressed appreciation for recognising the urgency of addressing the alarming population growth rate in the country by the chief justice while expressing his priorities in the first public statement.

The CSO in letter drew the chief justice’s attention to the slow pace of progress by federal and provincial governments on implementing the CCI’s approved action plan particularly allocation of only Rs1 billion against the original stipulated amount of Rs10 billion for the Special Population Fund.

It said the amount was inadequate for achieving the main objectives of the fund - expansion of lady health workers (LHWs) to ensure 100pc rural and peri-urban coverage to provide family planning and reproductive health services.

A provision of the action plan also required efforts to expand access to family planning and reproductive health services by engaging the private sector and the social protection organisations.

CSOs also suggested that the judiciary may consider forming a private citizens group to prepare a scorecard to report on progress of the CCI plan of action.

The CSOs has called on the chief justice of Pakistan to take stock of the CCI plan of action so that effective measures could be introduced for expediting implementation and bringing down the population growth rate to sustainable levels.

Published in Dawn, February 25th, 2022

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