PESHAWAR: Buoyed by the success of its first phase, the provincial government on Thursday launched the second phase of its community-driven local development (CDLD) programme, expanding it to 12 districts of the province.
An official ceremony to launch the second phase was held in Peshawar on Thursday where Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Chief Minister Pervez Khattak inaugurated the project.
The project — aimed at putting local communities in charge of their own development — was initially launched in six districts of the Malakand Division with financial and technical support from the European Union in 2015. It was soon expanded to another district of Malakand and to Haripur and Nowshera — the chief minister’s native area — taking the total number of districts where it is operating to nine.
On Thursday, Khattak said that in the second phase of the project, it will be extended to three more districts, taking it to a grand total of 12 districts.
“The government of K-P is committed to implementing its agenda of improving the socio-economic conditions of the people,” Khattak said as he extended his gratitude to officials of the European Union, K-P Local Government Department and Human Dynamics for completing the first phase of the CDLD policy.
He highlighted that the K-P local government system where powers were transferred to the grassroots.
“The CDLD programme has empowered the people and the process of community involvement has brought citizens and government closer. It has changed the outlook of K-P and improved the technical skills of our officers,” the chief minister said, adding that funding for the project is expected to rise to Rs9.9 billion.
Khattak subsequently directed all provincial departments involved in the project to work together.
EU Ambassador to Pakistan Jean-François Cautain said that after the successful implementation of the programme in K-P, the governments of Sindh and Balochistan had approached them for implementing it in their provinces.
“We believe that long-term development can bring prosperity to the region which is why we are supporting this programme,” the ambassador said, adding that in the second phase, they want to ensure that the programme implementation is more institutionalised.
He added that more than 3 million people are benefitting from the programme.
As many as 23,000 applications were received from the community for their projects of which 4,062 projects worth Rs5.1 billion were approved. Of these, 731 projects focus on women.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 23rd, 2018.
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