July 09, 2020: Prime Minister Imran Khan has urged the world community to formulate a combined strategy to protect the vulnerable segments of the society especially the laborers from the impacts of COVID-19.
He was addressing an online ILO Global Summit on COVID-19 and the World of Work.
The Prime Minister pointed out that many countries including Pakistan depend upon remittances sent by the overseas workers. He said though the host countries are also faced with many problems due to Coronavirus, yet we need to convince them to be more sympathetic to these laborers.
Imran Khan emphasized that the lockdown has hit the labor community the most. He said the future is very uncertain as we do not know how long the economy will take to recover from the impacts of the pandemic. He said we are praying that vaccines come out as a cure to the virus but in the meantime, we need to share our experiences and exchange ideas to protect our vulnerable groups.
Sharing the initial lockdown experience of Pakistan, the Prime Minister said it rendered our daily wage workers and laborers unemployed. Hence, he said we came up with the smart lockdown idea under which public gatherings were stopped but we allowed other activities like reopening of construction and agriculture sectors.
Imran Khan said the Pakistani government provided cash assistance to the laborers under Ehsaas Program after completing their registration process. He said it was the first time in Pakistan's history that such huge money was disbursed in such a short space of time. He said this saved us from the worst effects of the lockdown.