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Pak's South Punjab region most deprived in the province: UNDP report

ANI | Updated: Feb 09, 2022 12:30 IST

Islamabad [Pakistan], February 9 (ANI): Pakistan's South Punjab is the most deprived region of Punjab Province, in terms of basic facilities, said United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in a new report.
Data in the report shows poor poverty rate and reveals the deplorable state of the region when comes to child labour, child marriage, infant mortality rate among others. The UNDP report states that Only 56.2 per cent of the South Punjab's population uses improved sanitation facilities.
"As a result of the study, we now understand that about 55 per cent of the population is living below 50 per cent of median income (per capita) in the rural southern region of Punjab," says the 'South Punjab Regional Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Indicators Comparison with Centre and North' report.
The report was prepared by the UNDP in partnership with South Punjab Secretariat. It says, "Thirty-one per cent of the population in the south is living below the national poverty line whereas this percentage is lower in centre and north Punjab,"
Data also indicates the low household income in the South Punjab province. Households with a median income below 50 per cent indicate that nearly half of the population in Punjab is living below the median per-capita consumption which is PNR 5,499.34 per month.

Population living below-median consumption is indicative of relative poverty and inequality within a country or a region, says UNDP, reported Dawn.
South Punjab has the highest proportion of child labour, averaging 19.1 per cent, followed by the north at 11.4 per cent. The report says that percentage of children engaged in child labour is very high and requires some dedicated policies and result-oriented interventions.
The UNDP report further highlights the high percentage of child marriage in the province. About the percentage of child marriage at the district level, the report shows a very high percentage, 20per cent of girls getting married before the age of 18.
Thirteen per cent of girls across northern Punjab also get married before they turn 18, and nearly 5per cent of girls in South Punjab get married before their 15th birthday, as per the report.
Furthermore, there is considerable gender disparity in mobile ownership at the provincial level as well as across all regions. Only 28 per cent of women in south Punjab owns mobile phones.
Data on infant mortality shows that in south Punjab, 43 children died per 1,000 live births as opposed to the provincial average where 41 children died per 1,000 live births, reported the newspaper. (ANI)