Monday, January 09, 2023
The European Union (EU) has signed agreements for three new development programmes with funding of €87 million to support green and inclusive economic growth in Pakistan.
Ministry of Economic Affairs Secretary Dr Kazim Niaz and European Union’s ambassador Dr Riina Kionka signed the agreements, according to a statement from the Delegation of the European Union to Pakistan.
With a focus on Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit Baltistan, and Balochistan, the new programmes will improve agricultural value chains, provide access to clean energy and enhance the availability of the skilled labour force, read the statement.
The programmes are part of the European Union’s support to Pakistan in post-flood rehabilitation and reconstruction, it added.
These three programmes are designed in close cooperation with the federal and provincial governments and are part of the broader coordination efforts by the EU and its member states materialised through the Team Europe Initiative.
“EU is the most valued development partner to Pakistan as it held a substantial grant portfolio in Pakistan wherein its focus is, in particular, on the socioeconomic development of vulnerable communities,” Niaz said while speaking on the occasion.
He maintained that clean and green energy is the yardstick for any sustainable development, adding that the EU’s support in this particular area was necessary for providing desired impetus to all such efforts by Pakistan”.
Niaz further expressed his hopes that these three financing agreements will further contribute towards strengthening socioeconomic indicators, as the rural economic transformation, provision of cheap energy and imparting much-needed technical training for the youth can greatly benefit poor communities.
For his part, the EU ambassador said that Pakistan has a huge potential thanks to its people and natural resources.
“The programmes we have signed today help to harness that potential by giving Pakistanis the skills to get good jobs, by helping them to use sustainable techniques for agriculture and by providing them access to clean and green energy.”
He maintained that the EU’s support comes at a crucial moment, as the country is grappling with an economic crisis and people are still struggling with the effects of the terrible floods.
“We hope that the three programmes signed today contribute to economic recovery in the aftermath of the floods and make Pakistan stronger and more resilient,” he added.