EU to Provide €87 Million to Pakistan for Inclusive Growth and Employable Skills

To support green and inclusive economic growth in Pakistan, Dr. Kazim Niaz, Secretary Ministry of Economic Affairs, and Dr. Riina Kionka, Ambassador of the European Union have signed agreements for three new development programs with funding of €87 million from the European Union.

With a focus on Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit Baltistan, and Balochistan, the new programs will improve agricultural value chains, provide access to clean energy, and enhance the availability of the skilled labor force. The programs are part of the European Union’s support to Pakistan in post-flood rehabilitation and reconstruction.

These three programs are designed in close cooperation with the federal and provincial governments and are part of the broader coordination efforts by the EU and its member states materialized through the Team Europe Initiative.

They also contribute to the EU’s Global Gateway, the European strategy to boost smart, clean, and secure links in digital, energy, and transport sectors and to strengthen health, education, and research systems across the world.

Secretary EAD Dr. Kazim Niaz expressed gratitude for EU support and further said that “EU is the most valued development partner to Pakistan as it held a substantial grant portfolio in Pakistan wherein its focus is, in particular, on the socioeconomic development of vulnerable communities. Clean and green energy is the yardstick for any sustainable development, EU support in this particular area is necessary for providing desired impetus to all such efforts by Pakistan.”

He further expressed his hopes that these three Financing agreements will further contribute towards strengthening socioeconomic indicators, as the rural economic transformation, provision of cheap energy, and imparting much-needed technical training for the youth can greatly benefit poor communities.

Ambassador Dr. Riina Kionka pointed out, “Pakistan has a huge potential thanks to its people and natural resources. The programs we have signed today help to harness that potential by giving Pakistanis the skills to get good jobs, by helping them to use sustainable techniques for agriculture, and by providing them access to clean and green energy. Our support comes at a crucial moment, as the country is grappling with an economic crisis and people are still struggling with the effects of the terrible floods. We hope that the three programs signed today contribute to economic recovery in the aftermath of the floods and make Pakistan stronger and more resilient.”

More details about the programs signed today:

KP Rural Economic Transformation (KP-RET) Project (€17 million) – The program aims to improve rural households’ income by supporting farmers in the transition towards more sustainable and profitable agriculture, creating employment opportunities, and focusing on youth and women. KP-RET is part of a larger agricultural development program led by the Government of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, in which the EU contribution will ensure the impact on the most vulnerable communities in rural areas.

ENERGY Plus: Energy for Climate Resilience in Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (€30 million) – The program will create resilient hydropower facilities and support more efficient use of energy for a sustainable transition to renewable energy. It will also contribute to more sustainable management of natural resources through a massive tree planting program. Additionally, it will strengthen the provincial government’s capacity for policy-making, with a focus on participatory planning, implementation, and monitoring in the energy and natural resources sectors.

EU support for sustainable economic development through demand-driven Technical and Vocational Education and Training (€40 million) – The program builds on the EU’s long-standing support to the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) sector in Pakistan. It will work on the provision of adequately skilled labor with a focus on environment-friendly skills in the agribusiness, water, and energy sub-sectors. The program will make the national TVET system more effective and will give better access to skills and employment opportunities for returning and prospective migrants. Specific focus will be put on increasing the availability of skilled female labor force in digital and high-tech sectors.

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