LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that government is implementing a comprehensive strategy for the elimination of poverty, ignorance and unemployment as well as bringing the deprived segments of the society into national mainstream. The chief minister was talking to Country Director of USAID in Pakistan, Robert J Wilson who called on him at CMs Secretariat here Wednesday. He said that government is ensuring provision of necessary academic facilities in schools and the project of Danish Schools has been initiated for providing modern educational facilities to boy and girl students of far-flung and backward areas. The pace of implementation of ongoing programmes with the cooperation of USAID in education, health and other sectors was reviewed in the meeting. American Consul General Carmela Conroy, Provincial Minister for Education Mian Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rehman, Member National Assembly Saira Afzal Tarar, Members Punjab Assembly Shahzadi Umarzadi Tiwana, Rana M Afzal Khan, Chairman Taskforce Raja Muhammad Anwar, Chairman Planning & Development, Secretary Education, Vice Chairman Punjab Educational Endowment Fund and other officers concerned were also present on the occasion. The CM said project of Danish Schools has been started from district Bahawalpur in southern Punjab and merit will be strictly upheld in the admission of students and recruitment of teachers in these schools. He said Danish Schools will have two shifts and their standard will be no less than Aitchison College and Lahore Grammar School. He said the purpose of setting up Danish Schools is to polish the talent of boy and girl students of remote and backward areas who could otherwise not avail quality educational facilities. He said that the world has assumed the form of a global village and in this scenario the need for keeping abreast with the changing international trends has become very important. He said the scope of this project will be extended to middle schools level and USAID can extend cooperation in this regard. The CM informed the USAID country director that government is also taking effective measures for the provision of modern health and educational facilities to the masses. He said besides provision of free dialysis facility, medicines are also being provided free of cost to patients in hospitals. He said that air-conditioners and generators have also been provided in hospitals for saving patients from heat. He said that pilot project of mobile dispensaries is being started for the provision of quality health facilities to the people of remote areas at their doorstep. He said that in addition to up-gradation of rural and basic health centers, new hospitals are also being set up. He said that a 300-bed hospital is being constructed in Bahawalpur, which will result in provision of high standard healthcare to the masses. He said USAID should extend cooperation in the projects of hydel power and solar energy. He said that Punjab is an agrarian province and cooperation can also be extended in the sector of food storage. Country Director USAID Robert J Wilson expressed willingness to cooperate with Punjab government in education, health, energy, teachers training and other sectors and said that USAID will set up its office in Lahore for this purpose. He lauded the measures taken by Chief Minister for the uplift of education, health and other sectors as well as welfare of the people and assured that all out cooperation will be extended for these projects.