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Pakistan uses tree-planting initiative to tackle Covid-19 unemployment

This article originally featured in The Skylark’s newsletter and was written as a condensed news in brief.

In 2018, Pakistan’s Prime minister Imran Khan launched the 10 Billion Trees Tsunami initiative, a plan to plant and maintain 10 billion trees in just five years. Originally designed to help combat Pakistan’s increasing vulnerability to the effects of climate change, the project is now having benefits within social and economic spheres too.

Since entering lockdown on 23 March, many people have found themselves in financial difficulty as people are banned from going outside. But the Pakistani government has made an exemption to those labourers working on the 10 Billion Trees project and has hired a further 63,000 facing unemployment in order to continue the afforestation.

Labourers are paid approximately $3 a day, which is enough to feed their families, alleviate some of the country’s increasing unemployment rate and keep the project on track. In Punjab alone, 30 million indigenous saplings have been grown with 50 million planned to be completed by the end of the year.

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