ISLAMABAD - Speakers at a media workshop on Sunday urged the provinces to increase the budget for family planning up to 3 per cent to fullfil its objectives.

The speakers pointed out that after 18th Amendment, it is imperative for provinces to give due importance to population welfare programme and commit politically and financially to continue programmes. The event was organized by Rahnuma-Family Planning Association of Pakistan (FPAP). A large number of media persons, representatives of provincial governments, ulemas, service providers, partners and civil society representatives attended the moot. Workshop participants stressed that it is hard time for provinces to understand the circumstances properly and identify threats and opportunities which arises after devolution of ministry of Population Welfare.

They pointed out that policy makers and implementers should be well aware about gaps and repercussions and unmet need of family planning, adding that these issues should be addressed on priority. Experts working on population issues stated that the political parties should address small family norm as their manifesto during election campaigns in coming general election. They remarked that provincial governments’ acceptability of their added responsibilities with reference to population welfare program is a future challenge for the organizations working in this sector. They called for systematic advocacy campaigns to ensure continuity of population welfare program at provincial level.

They also referred that in London Family Planning Summit, which was held in July-2012, Pakistan was rated among 69 least developed countries where unmet need of Family Planning is still higher.