PESHAWAR (Pakistan) – As thousands of internally displaced person from Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) begin their journey back home following the end of military operations, they need help to rebuild their livelihoods and communities.
The recent project by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and its partner organizations aims to ensure that early recovery is included as part of a humanitarian response in FATA to restore livelihoods and peaceful conditions for development in the region.
USAID has launched three United Nations projects today to assist displaced families returning to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). USAID will provide approximately US$30 million over a two-year period to three United Nations agencies to support these projects.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will receive approximately US$10 million to restore basic education facilities for 50,000 children, including 15,000 adolescent girls.
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) will restore agricultural and pastoral livelihoods for approximately 50,000 families, while the World Food Programme (WFP) will expand its program to provide food and cash to approximately 240,000 families in exchange for a commitment to undergo livelihood training, especially for households headed by women.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Sardar Mehtab Ahmed Khan, United Nations Resident Coordinator Neil Buhne, and USAID Mission Director John Groarke attended the ceremony. Other attendees included UNDP Pakistan Country Director Marc-André Franche, FAO Representative Patrick T. Evans, WFP Representative and Country Director Lola Castro, Pakistani government representatives, and tribal leaders from project areas.
Speaking at the event, Governor Khan expressed his appreciation for the support that will be provided by USAID and the United Nations agencies, and conveyed the Government of Pakistan’s commitment to the FATA Sustainable Return and Rehabilitation Strategy, which establishes a framework for returnees featuring rehabilitated infrastructure, reactivated local markets, and resilient communities.
United Nations Resident Coordinator in Pakistan Neil Buhne said, “In these complex emergency situations, the United Nations aims to ensure that early recovery is included as part of a humanitarian response, bringing development principles into the relief stage, and seizing opportunities to go beyond saving lives and to start restoring national capacity, livelihoods, and peaceful conditions for development. This means identifying and addressing root causes and vulnerabilities in early recovery interventions to create a foundation for sustainable development.”
FATA has experienced many years of insecurity, resulting in badly damaged infrastructure, disrupted education, and scarce opportunities for earning a livelihood. As families return home, they need help to rebuild their livelihoods and communities. A recent study found 81 percent of families returning to Bara in Khyber Agency stated they needed livelihood opportunities, 50 percent needed health and nutrition services, and 38 percent needed education facilities. By helping to meet these needs, under the government’s FATA Sustainable Return and Rehabilitation Strategy, USAID and the United Nations agencies will help to create a foundation for rebuilding strong, sustainable, and integrated communities.