QUETTA: Balochistan Health Minister Rehmat Saleh Baloch has severely criticised the federal government for suspending projects run by the international non-governmental organisation Save the Children in the province and diverting its funds to Punjab and Sindh.
Addressing a press conference, he said officials of the Save the Children had informed the interior ministry through a letter that they were closing all of their projects in Balochistan by June 30 and their funds would be diverted to projects in Sindh and Punjab.
The health minister and members of civil society expressed concern over the decision of Save the Children and said this would badly affect the already poor healthcare system in the province.
Mr Saleh Baloch termed the decision a conspiracy against Balochistan, adding that the move would be resisted. He appealed to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to take notice of the closure of Save the Children’s projects in Balochistan.
He said Save the Children had played a significant role in improving the child mother healthcare and education for children in poverty-stricken areas. He said if some areas of Balochistan were not secure and projects could not continue there, Save the Children should shift them to other districts of the province.
He said that Save the Children should be allowed to continue its projects in Balochistan in the larger interest of the people of the province. If the federal government had objection to any of the INGO’s activities it should take action according to law, but closing down its projects was not a solution, he added.
He said Save the Children was running a malaria control programme in 14 districts of Balochistan.
In reply to a question, Mr Saleh Baloch said the provincial government was not empowered to sign agreements with INGOs.
Published in Dawn, June 30th, 2015
In Balochistan: ‘Closing Save the Children a conspiracy’
By Mohammad Zafar
June 29, 2015
Save the Children has played a significant role in improving the education and health of children in Balochistan.
QUETTA: Balochistan’s Health Minister Rehmat Saleh Baloch on Sunday condemned the closure of Save the Children NGO’s operations in the province, terming it a ‘conspiracy’ to keep the region backward.
“Funds which were supposed to be spent on the education sector of Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa through Save the Children have now been transferred to Punjab and Sindh,” he said at a news conference in Quetta. He called on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to take notice of the closure.
Read: Save the Children offices still closed in Pakistan
“Save the Children has played a significant role in improving the education and health of children in Balochistan. I personally appeal to the prime minister to allow this organisation to continue to work in the province,” Rehmat said.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 29th, 2015.