PESHAWAR, July 23: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would receive $25 million assistance from United States Agency for International Development for reconstruction of damaged school buildings in its flood and militancy affected areas other than Malakand, official sources said.
The provincial government and USAID signed an ‘activity agreement’ a few days ago on the basis of which school buildings damaged by floods and militants in areas other than Malakand division would be reconstructed, a well placed official told Dawn on Monday.
“The number of schools to be reconstructed with this money would be known once we determine our needs following an assessment exercise that would be carried out in the near future,” he said.
In this regard, according to sources, the elementary and secondary education department and Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) will work together to assess the damaged schools that are to be reconstructed in the flood and militancy affected parts of the province other than Malakand division.
More than 11,000 schools were damaged in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as a result of the 2010 devastating flood, rendering a large number of students without education facilities.
While a large number of the partially damaged schools are being reconstructed with funds provided by UK’s Department for International Development, bilateral donors, including UAE and Qatar, have also extended financial assistance for reconstructing school buildings.
A PDMA official said that provincial government had undertaken activities on a large scale to reconstruct flood damaged schools in various parts of the province. But there were still many more schools in various parts of the province for which funds were required, he added.
“The joint assessment will enable the government to know how many of the flood affected schools remain to be reconstructed following which the government would exactly know how many of the schools would be reconstructed by utilising the fresh $25 million USAID funds,” said the official.
The information, once available with the government, would be shared with the donor to chalk out future course of action, the official added.
The $25 million funding line being provided by USAID would be in addition to an identical amount the agency has extended for reconstructing about 110 destroyed school buildings in the militancy affected parts of Malakand division.
A majority of these under-reconstruction school buildings, according to sources, are scheduled to complete by December 31, 2012.
The latest agreement would expand the scope of USAID work in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa education sector to a wider area of the province, taking its school building projects to Peshawar, Swabi, Mardan, and some of the southern districts.
In addition to USAID, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government is also optimistic about receiving $200 million for reconstruction activities from the United Arab Emirates under the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, according to official sources.
“The Abu Dhabi Fund money would be utilised to strengthen Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s communication and education sectors, carrying out development projects in the affected parts,” said an official.
The provincial government, added the official, had identified three projects for execution under the Abu Dhabi Fund. These include the proposed construction of Swat Expressway, the establishment of a university at Swat. Besides, some of the damaged buildings of schools and colleges would be reconstructed in the affected parts of the province.
“We are waiting for the projects’ approval from the donor,” said the official, adding that the provincial government was in contact with the Economic Affairs Division, Islamabad, to materialise the funding commitment the UAE made after the floods in 2010.