KARACHI: The Sindh government and the Department for International Development (DFID) of the United Kingdom have agreed to develop partnership in education, health, particularly in mother-child health, water and sanitation and renewable energy sectors.

This decision was taken in a meeting held between Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah and DFID chief Annabel Gerry who was accompanied by British Deputy High Commissioner Mike Nithavrianakis.

DFID is a United Kingdom government department responsible for administering overseas aid.

The chief minister said “We are working hard to bring out-of-school children back to school,” adding that there were 2.2 million children out of school.

He said that DFID help was needed in bringing the out-of-school children back to school. “You have to help us in developing strategy to bring out-of-school children back to school,” he said and added that he had evolved a plan to involve the community to increase school enrolment.

The chief minister and the DFID chief also discussed repairing of old school buildings and improvement of one-room schools by giving them additional classrooms and washroom facilities. They agreed to formalise the proposal for improvement in the education sector. The secretary of education would prepare working papers and the requirement for further approval.

The meeting participants also discussed investment in mother-child health (MCH) by launching a nutrition programme aimed at fortification of food and supplements. The chief minister said that the provincial government had launched MCH programmes in different districts, but food supplement and food fortification plan was needed for rural areas of the province, particularly for Thar, Kohistan and Kachho areas.

The British deputy high commissioner told the chief minister that a UK company was interested in investing in water and sanitation projects in the city.

Mr Shah directed the investment secretary to invite the company and facilitate them to identify the scope of the work, particularly in water treatment, sanitation and desalination projects.

During the meeting renewable energy projects, wind and solar, were also discussed. The British envoy said that their firms were interested in installing wind energy projects, if they were supported.

The chief minister directed secretary of investment to coordinate with the British company and work out a plan for investment in the energy sector.

Published in Dawn, December 5th, 2019