At the United Nations‚ Pakistan has said the government has launched special programmes and projects designed to empower women‚ minorities‚ youth‚ the elderly and the disabled to foster social integration.

Ambassador Masood Khan in a speech to the 52nd session of the U.N. Commission for Social Development said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has put socio-economic development on the top priority.

He said women and poorer households in Pakistan were directly benefiting from a cash transfer programme under a strengthened government's social protection.

He said these programmes also provide vocational training and interest-free loans for small businesses.

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