An agreement to start a $3.9 million project "for the stabilisation and economic recovery through social cohesion, local governance, and livelihood opportunities" for communities in Kurram and Orakzai districts has been signed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Pakistan and the Government of Japan.
The two-year effort will help more than 200,000 people, with an emphasis on young people and women. In order to foster social cohesion and trust among adolescents, the initiative will utilise creative methods to involve them in policy discussions and sporting and cultural activities.
Some 300 young people will have employment opportunities thanks to digital skills, incubation, and skill development. 50 community physical infrastructure projects will be renovated, and community organisations will participate in the planning process. To improve local administration, 35 offices will be built for village councils. There will be two common facility centres for female entrepreneurs.
Building confidence between communities and local government while promoting sustainable lives are the goals of the initiative, which is in line with the development strategy of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government.
Speaking on the occasion, Additional Secretary of the Planning and Development Department, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Muhammad Qaisar Khan said the sustained development of the merged districts is a top priority for the provincial government. "We appreciate the continued support provided by the Government of Japan for improving the conditions for the people of the merged districts," he added.
Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Economic Affairs Samar Ihsan said the Pakistani government is dedicated to cooperating with the UNDP and the Japanese government. The impacts of two decades of insecurity and its aftershocks have had a significant impact on the whole tribal belt. For long-term peace and prosperity, the stabilisation and economic recovery of the amalgamated districts are crucial, she added.
In his statement, Japanese ambassador Mitsuhiro Wada said this initiative will not only help with recovery and revenue production, but it will also strengthen local government and social cohesion to ensure the durability of the results. He said that Japan and the UNDP have a long-standing cooperation, and he deeply appreciates the UNDP's relentless effort and devotion to ensuring sustainable and inclusive development in Pakistan.
Speaking on the occasion, Resident Representative of UNDP Pakistan Knut Ostby thanked the Japanese government for its long-standing relationship with the UNDP. With their kind assistance, the UNDP is able to intensify and broaden the Pakistan government's efforts, which are essential for bringing the merged districts' stability and sustainable development up to par with the rest of the country, he said.
Through collaboration with the UNDP, the Government of Japan has contributed more than $24 million in important areas such as social cohesion, livelihoods, youth empowerment, climate change adaptation, electoral and legislative processes, as well as the rule of law and justice in Pakistan. The agreement was signed by Mitsuhiro Wada and Knut Ostby.
Credit : Independent News Pakistan-WealthPk