Written by: Rameen Mufti

The coronavirus pandemic, that started from Wuhan, China, has now seeped into 209 countries of the world with over 50,000 mortalities and more than a million people affected worldwide. As of April 2020, the number of cases in Pakistan and Azad Kashmir were 13,328 and 15 which have now, in December, soared up to 475k and 8,325 respectively. With this, Pakistan is also on the brink of experiencing a new Covid-19 variant- which emerged first in the UK- as three patients, carrying this genotype, have been reported in Sindh.

This situation, with a rising number of patients and coming of the new wave, has been difficult for Azad Kashmir. It has marred the region’s economy as seasonal and international migration is restricted, SME’s are facing cash-flow shortage and employees are being laid off. In these dire times, it is important for the government and organizations to play their part in creating an enabling environment for businesses and workers.

Seeds Foundation has shown exemplary commitment towards this cause by providing online and certified vocational training, such as ESOL, to the people of Azad Kashmir to protect them from the brunt of unemployment and create work opportunities for them online and at home. In light of this contribution to the people of Azad Kashmir, Chairman of the Foundation, Farooq Mir, is of the view that: “In hard times it is important to find a viable and sustainable solution to the people’s problems; one that will not only help them overcome the present crisis but also build a better future. Our vocational training initiatives play such a part and we hope that it will not only benefit in combatting Covid-19 but also the cycle of poverty.