KP wants donors to do more for Malakand

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Bureau Report | Peshawar | From the Newspaper January 19, 2012

PESHAWAR, Jan 18: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government and United Nations Development Programme have urged international aid agencies and KPs bilateral donors to continue financial support for the rehabilitation of militancy-affected Malakand division, restoring infrastructure and affected communitieslivelihoods.

Senior provincial government officers, UNDP country director Toshihiro Tanaka and representatives of KP`s bilateral and multilateral donors, during a conference on the rehabilitation of Malakand division on Wednesday, were unanimous that a lot needed to be done to rehabilitate life and infrastructure in Malakand.

We have had a good start (early recovery and the ongoing rehabilitation in Malakand), we need to continue it, Mr Tanaka said in his remarks at the Provincial Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Settlement Authority`s meeting with its partners at Khyber Pakhtunkhwa House in Islamabad.

Representatives of the USAID, European Union, Pakistani-Italian Debt Swap Agreement, Japan, Switzerland, and a couple of other international aid agencies and local organisations involved in Malakand`s rehabilitation attended the moot.

The conference was aimed at soliciting continued support of the aid agencies for the government`s post-crisis needs assessment, a 10year framework underlined for the rehabilitation of the militancy-affected northern Malakand.

As per the damage needs assessment for the rehabilitation of Malakand, Rs68.6 billion is needed to restore livelihood and social protection, housing, education, health, transport, water and sanitation, energy sector, private sector agriculture and governance.

Shakeel Qadir, the outgoing DG of PaRRSA and the Provincial Disaster Management Authority, in a presentation titled Turning Adversary into Opportunity explained the authoritys processes for ensuring speedy execution of development activities in the affected areas, transparency in spending donors money, and its future development agenda.

He apprised the moot about achievementsmade under development projects being executed in Malakand, including the USAID-funded $66 million KP Reconstruction Program, UNDP-funded $2.2 million Peace & Development Project, GIZ-funded 5.4 million Euros Malakand Recovery Program, $23 million Prime Ministers package, $60 million UAEs Pakistan Assistance Program, $10 million Italian-funded Early Recovery of Agriculture and Livelihood and the 2.14 million Euros Italian Post Flood Emergency Program.

Mr Qadir said that UNDP`s financial assistance to PaRRSA for two years had phased out recently after which the USAID had agreed to fund the authority till 2014 for rehabilitation of education and health facilities in Malakand.

His request for continued international financial support was also seconded by UNDP representative Ms Rabia. We are looking into the possibilities of continuing our support to PaRRSA to support the affected people, she said.

The need for improved access of the foreign staff of international aid agencies to inspect their respective ongoing projects was also voiced. Now that he (Mr Qadir) is secretary security, Fata, he would allow me to visit our project, said Marco Marchetti, Italian director of the debt swap agreement. A Japanese government representative, pledging his countrys continued support for Malakand people, said:We are happy to see differences made…it is not for us to feel happy, it is for the people to feel a good future.

However, MPA from Dir, Zamin Khan, said that his area had not been paid much attention in the rehabilitation process, hoping that the authority would do the needful as Dir was the hardest hit by militancy.

KPs chief secretary Ghulam Dastagir, additional chief secretary Fata Secretariat Fazal Rahim Khattak and PDMAs new chief Shahzad Bangash were also present on the occasion.

On behalf of the provincial government, Mr Khattak asked for international donors` continued assistance for the rehabilitation of Fata.

Villages and villages have been destroyed (by militants) in South Waziristan Agency, we need help to restore the lives of the affected people, said Mr Khattak, adding that in the wake of large-scale devastation the government was finding it difficult to persuade the displaced people to return to their areas.

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