PESHAWAR, Sept 14: Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) has initiated a livelihood support and community infrastructure project for the poor and marginalised communities of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The German government has provided around Rs4 billion (31.5 million euros) worth of financing through KfW (German Development Bank) for the strategic initiative.

To mark the launch of the ‘Strategic Framework and a Multi-Sector Investment Programme for Fata’, a function was organised at a hotel in Islamabad, where Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Masood Kausar was in the chair.

According to officials, the programme will last nine years in four phases and implementation of the first phase began in April 2012, while the last would be completed in 2015.

They said the project would be implemented in 22 tehsil and six Frontier Regions (FRs) of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Fata.

The governor said the project was indirect response to the underdevelopment and poverty of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Fata and it had been designed to improve the quality of life of the poor and needy population and improve physical and social services in marginalised areas.

He said to have economically vibrant and livable communities, strategies should focus on building physical capital and strengthening social fabric.

Mr Kausar said the government would build and improve community infrastructures, carry out social mobilisation at community level in all selected districts and regions, and enhance and protect livelihood of the weakest sections of the population.

He said establishment of basic health and education services at grassroots levels and increase in participation of community in decision-making at the local level had been planned.

The governor said another important area of interventions was building disaster preparedness and mitigation capacities of poverty-stricken areas, which were vulnerable to natural disasters.

He said Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Fata required support along political-administrative and socioeconomic facets of governance for reconstructing their infrastructure and recreating and revitalising their development institutions.

“Many of the starting points for consolidating peace and promoting good governance fall in the sphere of the government but civil society organisations and international development community have to play their part: advocating for transparent and participatory governance and security; promoting participation of local communities in the development process and satisfying their basic needs,” he said.

Mr Kausar said the government believed that civic participation would itself prevent recurrence of violence and help develop tolerance and peaceful ways of conflict resolution.

He said the problems in Fata were not their own but were imposed on them under a ‘conspiracy of foreign hands’.

The governor said tribal people were not terrorists but wanted to lead life in light of injunctions of Islam, which was a religion of peace and humanity.

He said welfare of tribal youths should be ensured on a priority basis as they were intelligent and their talent could be utilised in the best interest of the country.

Later, Mr Kausar presented souvenirs to the members of the project.

The ceremony was attended by provincial social welfare minister Sitara Ayaz, Kfw country head Dr Anna Christina Janke, PPAF chief executive Qazi Azmat Isa and people from different walks of life.

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