US announces 500 new scholarships for flood-affected students in Pakistan

US scholarships Pakistan

Islamabad: The US has announced 500 new scholarships to university students from flood-affected districts of Pakistan to assist them in completing their degrees.

US Ambassador to Pakistan Donald Blome announced the scholarships at an event celebrating the achievements of female scholars in honour of International Women’s Day at the Higher Education Commission in Islamabad.

Federal Minister of Planning Ahsan Iqbal, Higher Education Commission Chairman Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, National Disaster Management Authority Chairman Lieutenant General Inam Haider Malik, Higher Education Commission Executive Director Dr. Shaista Sohail, USAID Mission Director Reed Aeschliman, were also present at the event.

A statement issued by the US embassy in Pakistan said that the United States, through USAID, had supported scholarships for meritorious yet financially disadvantaged students to pursue higher education at top Pakistani universities.

In partnership with the Higher Education Commission, the US government has awarded over 6,000 scholarships through the Merit and Needs Based Scholarship Program.

60% of those scholarships have been awarded to women as part of the US government’s support for women’s higher education, the statement read.

“International Women’s Day not only serves as a day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements made by our mothers, grandmothers, sisters, aunts, and daughters. It is also a call to action to accelerate gender parity and to dismantle gender stereotypes”, said Ambassador Blome.

Federal Minister of Planning Ahsan Iqbal said, “Pakistan has suffered from catastrophic floods where millions of people lost their homes and livelihoods. The humanitarian response by the United States and other donors is commendable. We welcome USsupport for flood-affected students.”

HEC Chairman Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed remarked, “US government support to strategic sectors in Pakistan, especially the higher education sector, is commendable. Not only have these scholarships helped secure university education for many underprivileged students, lifting themselves and their families out of poverty, they have helped supply Pakistan with crucial skills and knowledge sets to drive the economy.”