PESHAWAR: Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur has said that provincial government needs more support from World Food Programme and other donor agencies for the development of merged districts.

He said that promoting quality education and creating employment opportunities in merged districts were priority areas of his government, according to a statement issued here on Saturday.

He was talking to a delegation of World Food Programme (WFP), headed by Coco Ushiyama. The delegation called on chief minister and discussed with him matters related to various activities being carried out by WFP in the province, especifically in merged districts.

The head of the delegation and chief minister also discussed the prospects for further expanding the working scope between the provincial government and WFP and agreed to enhance mutual cooperation in various sectors.

Delegation assures govt of more collaborations

Mr Gandapur lauded the cooperation of WFP in various sectors and said that its initiative for providing educational stipends to girls of merged districts was highly commendable. He said that despite financial constraints, the government was not only committed but going all out to bring about positive change in the life of people in merged districts.

“However, we need to have special attention and more concerted efforts to bring those districts into the national mainstream, because the war against terrorism has badly affected the infrastructure in these areas,” said the chief minister.

He said that there was a need to construct farm-to-market roads to accelerate economic activities in the tribal districts. He said that government was planning to build small dams to ensure food security in the province.

The chief minister said introducing other technologies including tunnel farming was also under-consideration to develop agriculture sector on modern lines in addition to establishment of food testing laboratories in the province. He added that it would ensure quality of food commodities in the markets.

“Similarly, we further need to effectively utilise available water resources for producing hydropower and ensuring self-sufficiency in agricultural products. We also need to have foreign investment in order to materialise all these plans,” said Mr Gnadapur. He added that investors would be provided with all kinds of support and facilities.

He said that those efforts would pave way for sustainable development and prosperity by capitalising the untapped advantages and stabilising local economy.

Talking on the occasion, Ms Coco Ushiyama said that WFP was currently working with the provincial government on various public welfare projects including provision of educational stipends to 30,000 girls in merged districts.

“WFP is also willing to further expand its collaboration with the provincial government in various public welfare interventions,” she said.

Published in Dawn, April 21st, 2024

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