Karachi (PPI) - The rural areas of Sindh province have been facing with abject poverty and a release of Planning and Development Department, Government of Sindh (GoS), issued here on Saturday, showing serious concern over the yawning rural-urban divide has revealed that the poverty head count ratio in the rural areas is almost double than in the urban areas, said. It said rural Sindh has about 50percent of the province's population and about 30percent of the GDP. The slow growth in the rural sector has led to widespread rural poverty and large and widening income gap with urban areas. The poverty head count ratio in the rural areas is almost double than in the urban ones. The large rural-urban divide is a serious concern not only for the welfare if the rural population, but for economic and social stability, economic and social measures. It said the Government of Sindh is committed to improve living standards of people, particularly, the welfare and service delivery in the rural areas. "To break out this vicious cycle, the GoS negotiated with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to embark upon an accelerated, inclusive and sustainable development path through Sindh Growth and Rural Revitalisation Program (SGARRP), which is aimed at promoting a broad-based growth through reforms in three Core Policy Areas (CPAs). The Core Policy Area 1 (CPA 1) is aimed at promoting private sector participation by establishing an institutional basis for public and private partnership (PPP) in infrastructure and social service provision; and withdrawing government's direct involvement in the commercial activities. The Core Policy Area 2 (CPA 2) is about strengthening public expenditure management by improving the efficiency of public investment; monitoring and evaluation; internal controls; audit compliance, and legislative oversight; and the policy financing, administration and service delivery of employees benefits.The Core Policy Area 3 (CPA 3) is aimed at revitalising the rural economy by increasing and sustaining public investment in rural areas; creating an enabling environment for private investment through clarifying land titling and reducing barriers to entry, and facilitating PPP in service delivery. For implementation of this program, loan negotiation for an amount of US$100million (ADF-soft loan) with the ADB were held in Karachi during September 15-16, 2008 for Sub-program (SP-1) of this program. ADB's allocations for SP-2 and SP-3 are US$200mn each. The ADB Board of Directors has approved above-mentioned loan on December 11, 2008, says the release.