Jan 29, 2008

1 Million Dollar World Bank Administered Japanese Grant for Northern Pakistan

1 Million Dollar World Bank Administered Japanese Grant for Northern Pakistan

Mr. Yusupha Crookes, World Bank Country Director for Pakistan and Mr. Al-Nashir Jamal, Chief Executive Officer, Aga Khan Foundation (Pakistan) signing the Japanese grant for Social Development in Northern Pakistan. Islamabad, Pakistan, 17 January 2008 ─ A US$959,239 grant was signed with Aga Khan Foundation today to alleviate economic and social poverty in Northern Pakistan through improvement in housing and living conditions. This initiative will be implemented by Aga Khan Planning and Building Service, (AKPBS, P) under their Building and Construction Improvement Programme (BACIP). AKPBS, P has been a winner of 2005 ALCAN Prize for Sustainability and the 2006 BSHF World Habitat Award for its efforts to improve water and sanitation projects and for improving housing conditions in Pakistan. This project is part of the World Bank administered Japan Social Development Fund (JSDF) which funds innovative projects that provide direct assistance to the poorest and most vulnerable groups. The objective of this grant is to promote the use of affordable Energy Efficient and House Improvement (EE & HI) products through village level awareness programs and installation of demonstration products in local households. In addition it will fund training and capacity building of local manufacturers, installers, retailers, communities, and other relevant institutions for production, adoption and marketing of EE&HI products and technologies. This grant is expected to significantly reduce the level of indoor pollution and smoke-related diseases that the current use of biomass fuel causes in mostly women and children of the Northern Areas. In addition, the project is structured to produce these products locally resulting in economic gains for local communities.

Mr. Yusupha Crookes, World Bank CountryDirector for Pakistan and Mr. Seiji Kojima,Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan areshaking hands after the agreement signing.Mr. Al-Nashir Jamal, Chief Executive Officer,Aga Khan Foundation (Pakistan) is alsopresent on the occasion.
“This project holds tremendous potential to improve the living conditions of people in the Northern Areas of Pakistan. The market-based strategy it proposes to use is particularly commendable since it promises to make the project sustainable fairly quickly,” said Yusupha Crookes, World Bank Country Director for Pakistan. “We are proud to be partnering with the Japanese Government to fund innovative ideas such as these which empower communities to take charge of their own development.
Mr. Seiji Kojima, Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan said that he is very glad to witness the signing of the Agreement between the World Bank and Aga Khan Foundation.
He said he believes that this joint effort of the WB, Aga Khan Foundation and Japan will certainly improve the environment situation, living conditions and the health problem faced by the people of the region, especially the women, in the remote mountain valleys in Northern Pakistan. He also hopes that once this project is completed, it will be self sustainable.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Al-Nashir Jamal- Chief Executive Officer of the Aga Khan Foundation (Pakistan) said that the project will address issues of both poverty and in-door housing pollution in the Northern Areas of Pakistan by improving livelihoods and creating new economic opportunities.
He said that an important element of the project will be to promote the link between improved housing and socio-economic development, through interactions between professionals, NGOs, government line departments and other social organizations in the Northern Areas.
Mr. Jamal added that the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) has a long history of development work in the Northern Areas through a number of AKDN Agencies and appreciated and acknowledged the support and cooperation provided by the World Bank, the Government of Pakistan and the Government of Japan, and hoped that this partnership will grow and assist in the development of the Northern Areas.

Scource : AKDN .ORG

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