ISLAMABAD: The Japanese government has decided to provide grant assistance equivalent to about Rs84 million to five local NGOs to carry out development projects for rehabilitation in areas affected by the 2022 floods.

The grant contracts were signed between Japanese Ambassador Wada Mitsuhiro and representatives of the five non-governmental organisations at the embassy in Islamabad on Tuesday.

The projects to be implemented by the NGOs are association for ‘Behaviour and Knowledge Transformation’ (ABKT), ‘Fortified Services for Reforms and Transformation (FSRT)’, ‘Actions for Human Advancement’ (AHAT), Lok Sudhar Association and Safe Hands Foundation.

The ABKT will receive about Rs17.7 million to reconstruct three flood-damaged suspension bridges in Upper Dir district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. This project will enhance the security of schoolchildren and local community members when natural disasters such as floods occur. It will also provide a safe passage to schoolchildren as well as the local people to reach their school safely in this area.

The FSRT will receive about Rs16.8 million to reconstruct flood-affected school building for girls’ primary course in Malakand division. This project will provide schoolchildren with a safe place for learning, resulting in improving overall literacy rate of Swat - a city with one of the lowest literacy rates in Pakistan.

AHAT will receive grant assistance worth Rs16 million to reconstruct a flood-affected primary and middle school in Jampur tehsil, Rajanpur district in Punjab. The project will enhance learning environment for the children in one of the most flood-affected areas during the 2022 floods in Pakistan.

Lok Sudhar Association will receive about Rs14.3 million to establish an ophthalmology operation theatre to expand eye care facility in Havelian. This facility will provide eye-related treatment to patients in accessible and affordable way. In particular, people will have the opportunity to access cataract surgery for the first time in this locality. The project will lead to the improvement of the health sector in the area.

Safe Hands Foundation will receive about Rs19 million to construct the primary-school building to promote child education in Khaista Gul Kallay village in Khyber district. The project will provide, in one of the most deserving and vulnerable areas, the school building equipped with a solar system that can accommodate about 200 primary schoolchildren, including those currently studying in an open-air classroom.

At the signing ceremony, Ambassador Mitsuhiro expressed his expectation that these development projects in cooperation with local communities would have a positive impact on uplifting the living standards of Pakistani people at the grassroots level.

The Japanese government will provide further flexible and timely support to local NGOs through grant assistance to improve the social well-being of the people of Pakistan at the grassroots level, he said.

Published in Dawn, March 6th, 2024

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