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Innovative Population Projects initiated in Punjab
Innovative Population Projects initiated in Punjab

LAHORE: (Monday, August 28, 2017): The Punjab Population Innovation Fund (PPIF) has organized a consultative session to solicit innovative ideas that could catalyze change for population development. In this regard, Punjab University Institute of Social and Cultural Studies and other institutions in collaboration with PPIF have signed contracts for implementation of innovative projects at a local hotel.

PU Dean Faculty of Behavioral and Social Sciences Prof Dr Zakria Zakir, Member Punjab Assembly Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht, Member of Board of Planning & Development Dr. Shabana Haider, PPIF CEO Mr. Jawad Ahmed Qureshi, Population Council Country Director Dr. Zeba Sathar, CERP Programme Director Dr. Ali Cheema and representatives from donor agencies such as World Bank, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, heads of prominent NGOs and INGOs working in the sector were among those present at the event.
The fund has been established by the government of Punjab to fund innovative approaches to the delivery of Family planning services. According to PPIF, research shows that while there is near universal awareness about family planning in the province, the inaccessibility of modern methods and the fear of side effects associated with their use of modern methods and their inaccessibility has led to high incidence of unmet need in the province.
In his opening remarks, PPIF CEO Mr. Jawad Ahmed Qureshi welcomed the participants and explained that the purpose of the event was not merely to celebrate the initiation of new projects but to look further ahead into the future and identify potential solutions to the non-responsive market and slow rate of uptake of family planning services. He said that the challenge was to employ unconventional channels and achieve greater results with fewer resources. He thanked the participants for taking keen interest in the consultative process.
Makhdoom Hashim Bakht expressed good wishes for the projects being awarded/funded by the PPIF, while Dr. Ali Cheema stressed on the need for behavioral change approaches for increasing uptake of family planning. Member P&D Board Dr. Shabana Haider congratulated the PPIF team and stated that the company had been incubated by the P&DD to help Punjab achieve its economic growth objectives and it was heartening to see that the company had achieved an important milestone. She urged PPIF management to concretize plans for the next cycle of rounds based on the valuable suggestions made by the participants at the consultative session.
The participants agreed on the importance of population planning and suggested feasible approaches to addressing demand and supply side barriers to the delivery of family planning services, especially projects that targeted youth and adolescents.