ISLAMABAD: China and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on Friday signed a $4 million agreement to support the recovery of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) and Balochistan that have been affected by natural and human-made crises.
According to the agreement, the project, which is funded by the "China South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund", is expected to help 8,100 families returning to the areas affected by insecurity in Fata, as well as about 19,000 school children in Balochistan after their schools were damaged in the 2010-2011 floods.
UNDP Pakistan Country Director Ignacio Artaza said that Fata and Balochistan are among the country's least developed regions and have been severely affected by disasters in recent years, adding that the support from the Chinese government will help temporarily displaced families get back on their feet and ensure that schools in Balochistan meet the necessary conditions to keep young students in school.
China contributes $1m for FATA IDPs
For his part, Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing said that the successful launching of this project renewed China's commitment to deliver strong support to the people of Pakistan.
He vowed that China will continue to increase the Grant Assistance to Pakistan in the future by enriching the categories and sectors, expanding the input into areas with pressing demands, including Fata and Balochistan.
According to the UNDP, the project is built on the UN agency's ongoing support for early recovery and rehabilitation of affected populations in Pakistan and will provide some 8,100 families in Kurram, South Waziristan, North Waziristan, Khyber and Orakzai agencies with construction kits to rebuild their homes, as well as essential household items.
Balochistan crisis unlikely to impact FATA reforms
In the meantime, 375 schools in Balochistan's Naseerabad, Jafferabad and Sohbatpur districts, which were the worst affected by the 2010-2011 floods, will receive new furniture and education kits.
It is the second project supported by the "China South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund" in Pakistan. In November 2017, the fund provided 1 million US dollars to the World Food Program to help the organization's initiative in Fata for humanitarian adds.
The "China South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund" aims at providing finance support to cooperate with international organizations in helping eliminate poverty, improve living conditions and facilitate sustainable development in developing countries.