ISLAMABAD, Dec 4 (INP) Matthias Weingart, the director of Cooperation Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) in Pakistan, and Marc-André Franche, UNDP Pakistan country director, signed an agreement for US$1.05 million to improve the living conditions and livelihoods of 200,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and the IDP hosting communities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
The partnership between SDC and UNDP will build resilience through both community and institutional level interventions in support of the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. It will improve the living conditions and livelihood of crisis affected populations in the southern districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa thus contributing to the SDC out of fragility agenda. The measures will directly benefit the most vulnerable groups, both among the displaced persons and in the host communities, to improve access to basic services and improve livelihood opportunities.
The acquired skills, both at institutional and community levels, will make the displaced persons more self-reliant during the displacement period and give them the means to sustain those gains during the return and rehabilitation phase. This partnership adds to the funding agreement signed with Germany for 1 million euros in October 2014.
Upon signing the agreement, Matthias Weingart said, “In complex emergency situations like Pakistan, experience has shown that one of the most effective ways to provide sustainable support to crisis-affected countries is to prepare population for eventual return while they are still in displacement.
This enables them to restart a better life when they return. Within this context, SDC is initiating this programme through UNDP for recovery interventions in conflict areas to reduce suffering of the newly displaced, increase absorption capacity of the hosting areas and even more importantly prepare IDPs for eventual return thus paving the way for long term development in the region.”
Marc-André Franche said, thanked the Government of Switzerland for its generous support. This partnership supports and addresses the immediate needs of the affected people, while at the same time enhancing the capacities of the provincial and district government authorities
According to the FATA Disaster Management Authority (FDMA), the official number of registered displaced people as of December stood at almost 288,000 families. Most of the displaced people have taken refuge in the bordering districts of Bannu, Peshawar, Nowshera, DI Khan, Kohat, Tank and Lakki Marwat. The worst affected and most vulnerable groups are women and children, representing more than 70 percent of the displaced persons.