UNDP, Japan to work for overall uplift of KP’s merged districts


More than 200,000 individuals in KP will benefit from US$3.9m grant announced by Japan

Zubair Qureshi

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Pakistan and the Government of Japan have signed an agreement to launch a project of US$3.9 million “for the stabilization and economic recovery through social cohesion, local governance, and livelihood opportunities” for communities in Kurram and Orakzai districts. The agreement was signed by Ambassador of Japan Mitsuhiro Wada and the Resident Representative, UNDP Pakistan Mr. Knut Ostby.

With generous support from the Government of Japan, the two-year project will assist more than 200,000 individuals, with a particular focus on youth and women. The project will use innovative approaches to engage youth in policy dialogues and sports/cultural events for social cohesion and trust building.

Employment opportunities will be provided to 1,300 youth through digital skills, incubation, and skills training. Community organizations will engage in the planning process and rehabilitate 50 community physical infrastructure schemes. As many as 35 offices will be constructed for village councils to strengthen local governance. Two common facility centres for women entrepreneurs will be operationalized.

The project is aligned with the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s development agenda and aims to build trust between communities and local government and promote sustainable livelihoods.

“The Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is strongly committed to the sustainable development of the merged districts. We appreciate the continued support provided by the Government of Japan for improving the conditions for the people of the merged districts,” said Muhammad Qaisar Khan, Additional Secretary, the Planning and Development Department, Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

While speaking at the ceremony Ms. Samar Ihsan, Additional Secretary of Ministry of Economic Affairs, said. “Government of Pakistan is committed to working with UNDP and the Government of Japan. The entire tribal belt has been severely affected by the two decades of insecurity and its after-effects. Stabilization and economic recovery of merged districts are important for durable peace and prosperity.”