To address the situation of low productive capacity of Punjab’s population, Punjab Human Capital Investment Project is being launched which will target the problem right from the early stages of lifecycle. The World Bank will provide USD 200 million for this project. The main objective of Punjab Human Capital Investment Project (PHCIP) is to increase the access to quality health services, economic and social inclusion of the poor and vulnerable households in select districts in Punjab through:
- Supporting access to quality health services by strengthening of primary health facilities.
- Conditional cash transfer program to encourage access to health and nutrition support
- Support economic inclusion for the young parents with children for poverty alleviation
- Expand and strengthen early childhood education (ECE)
- Strengthen efforts to increase the efficiency and sustainability of Punjab’s pro-poor initiatives
Under this project, three main activities will be performed:
Health Services Quality and Utilization
CCT Health and Nutrition is based on the first 1,000 days (i.e. the period from conception to two years of age) approach to address malnutrition. The evidence shows that first 1000 days are most important for lifelong cognitive and physical development. Under this component, both demand and supply side interventions are planned. On the demand side, poor pregnant and lactating women will be incentivized through cash transfers to increase utilization of HNP services (pre and post-natal care, skilled birth, growth monitoring, immunization, HNP awareness and counseling). On the supply side, BHUs will be strengthened by making available i) basic HNP services (maternal, child, family planning services) and ii) basic amenities (water, electricity, communication, etc.), human resources (medical, paramedic, supporting, etc.), and medicines and supplies. Provision of mobile clinics to reach the most vulnerable populations is also under consideration.
Economic and Social Inclusion
Productive inclusion of adolescents and youth will be enhanced by providing education, skills, micro-financing, and asset transfer. Additionally, interventions for early childhood education (ECE) will also be part of this component.
Social Protection Service Delivery Platform
Capacity of Punjab Social Protection Authority to deliver social protection services will be enhanced. PSPA’s current structure and capacity needs considerable beefing-up to enable it to deliver effectively as premier provincial social protection authority. This component is aimed at addressing the current institutional, technology and resource gaps of PSPA and establishing a robust social protection delivery platform. The existing PSPA beneficiary database and program dashboards would be strengthened to keep track of major initiatives and beneficiaries’ information in Punjab.