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MANSEHRA, May 30: The government of the Netherlands has provided financial assistance of $17 million for restoration of education and health infrastructure and expanding livelihood opportunities in Battagram district.

“We are working for providing peaceful and safe social environment to rural communities of Battagram through improving access and quality of education, particularly for girls, and expanding livelihood and job opportunities for youth in remote areas in Battagram district,” said H.G.

Scheltema, ambassador of the Netherlands, while speaking after inaugurating two newly-built girls’ schools in Allai on Wednesday.

The government of the Netherlands in collaboration with Save the Children has been working for reconstruction of health and education infrastructure destroyed in October 2005 earthquake.

Mr Scheltema visited the Allai tehsil of Battagram district to monitor progress on projects being carried out by Save the Children. He also chaired the stakeholders meeting in Battagram.

“I enjoyed the meeting with the small girls getting education in schools built by the people of my country,” said the ambassador while speaking at a function attended by students and their parents in Allai. He said that girls’ education was very important for development of a society.

“We are providing substantial financial and technical support for the short term, anticipating that Battagram district and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government will take their full responsibility and ensure free and quality education to all children in the long term,” the ambassador said. —Correspondent