PML-N parliamentary party meeting begins; cabinet meeting to follow

ISLAMABAD: A meeting of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) parliamentary party began on Friday morning under the chair of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Sources said the upcoming fiscal year’s budget as well as development projects will come under discussion at the meeting.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar is expected to present the federal budget in the National Assembly later in the day. Sources said all preparations for the presentation of the budget have been made. 

Aid Agencies Reach Somalia IDP's With Cash Relief Programs

A key innovation since the 2011 famine in Somalia is the growing use of cash assistance programs for people affected by current drought-induced crisis. The mobile money transfers enhance accountability, sidestep security challenges and enable recipients, many of whom are displaced, to get help no matter where they go. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf has the story from Baidoa, Somalia.

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South Korea OKs Civilian Contact With North in Goodwill Gesture

South Korea will allow a civic group to contact North Korea over aid programs, the first such approval since North Korea's fourth nuclear test in January 2016, Seoul officials said Friday.

The announcement is a sign that the liberal government led by new President Moon Jae-in is trying to restart stalled civilian aid and exchange programs as a way to improve strained ties with rival North Korea. Moon's conservative predecessor, Park Geun-hye, hadn't endorsed any civilian contacts since the North's fourth nuclear test.

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