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April 10, 2021

Italy’s govt lauds uplift initiatives for marginalised groups and areas in KP

Peshawar

April 10, 2021

CHITRAL: The Italian government appreciated the development initiatives launched to develop marginalised groups and areas in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, an official of Italian Agency for Development Cooperation told a gathering of locals here on Friday.

“Our country is committed to working with the Pakistan government to build many such projects in many sectors to help transform lives of marginalised and excluded groups,” said Director of Italian Agency for Development Cooperation Emmanuela Bennini while addressing people at Khairabad Drosh after inaugurating a jeepable bridge over river Chitral.

Shams Badruddin, Group Head Infrastructure Development of Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund, Chief Executive Officer, Sarhad Rural Support Programme (SRSP), Masoodul Mulk, Deputy Commissioner of Lower Chitral Hassan Abid and a number of community elders were also present on the occasion.

The Rs18 million 200-feet long jeepable bridge was built by SRSP under financial support of the Italian government and PPAF.

The communities had identified the bridge as an important constraint to their development as they had to travel 10 kilometers to get to the main road. About 450 households benefit from the scheme.

The community members said the absence of the bridge created a lot of problems for service delivery in the valley and they were denied economic opportunities.

The officials of the SRSP said the bridge was part of progtamme that was funded by the Italian government in the Bajaur, Upper and Lower Dir and Chitral. Besides infrastructure development, it extended help to improve government facilities in Health and Education Sectors and provide livelihood grants to the communities through a community-driven programmes.

The deputy commissioner of Chitral lauded the contribution made by the Italian government, PPAF and SRSP.

The communities narrated the difficulties they encountered before the bridge was built in improving their living standards.

They urged that the local communities must be closely involved in future programmes to identify the poor as external consultants miss out the local understanding of poverty.

Later, Ms Bennini visited the Drosh Rural Health Unit where the District Health Officer and staff of the hospital briefed her on the improvements made to the old health centre through improving its water supply refurbishing of different units and provision of essential supplies and instruments, assistance in fighting Covid-19 and setting up a nursery for children at childbirth.

Later Ms Bennini met women community groups in Drosh who exhibited their handicrafts and narrated the benefits they got from women mobilisation and enterprise training activities.

The elders of Drosh hailed the contribution made by the SRSP in the Drosh tehsil, building of 35 km roads in remote Arandu, rehabilitation of government schools and building roads and bridges for Urtsun valley.