COVID-19 pandemic upended the lives of the poor people of Balochistan in many ways: Minister.

ISLAMABAD -- Balochistan Minister for Social Welfare and Non Formal Education Mir Assad Ullah Baloch Wednesday said that the COVID-19 pandemic has upended the lives of the poor people of Balochistan in many ways.

Following the lockdown, trade activities have come to a halt, casting a large population into penury, he said adding that in Balochistan only 250,000 people having government jobs, the rest depend directly or indirectly on cross border-trade.

'Balochistan province, with its 75 percent of sea shore, makes up around 50 percent of the land mass of the country, while its populating remains only 12.30 million. Its scattered population, poor means of communication, fragile and limited health facilities have further aggravated the situation,' he added.

Baloch said that around 71 percent of population lives below the poverty line and 80 percent population was deprived of health facilities in Balochistan.

Only 20 percent people in the province have access to safe drinking water as compared to 86 percent in the rest of the country.

Traffic deaths remain much higher due to unavailability of dual carriage roads. In the last two decades the share of allocation by the National Highway Authority for the province has remained below 10 percent of the total allocation.

Similarly, the province could not get its due share in external development financing. During 2017-18 the country received a whopping amount of Rs.334 billion, while the province got only 1.6 percent of this amount for development projects.

Baoch said that the geostrategic importance of Balochistan; the deep seaport of Gwadar which has turned the whole dream of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) into a reality still awaits substantial development.

The people in Gwadar and the rest of Balochistan still live in utter poverty and destitute.

Similarly, Balochistan was not getting a fair share in federal government jobs. There are more than...

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