PESHAWAR - Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority (SMEDA) has surpassed target of matching grants to conflict affected businesses under the Economic Revitalisation of KPK and FATA (ERKF) project.

The project was launched in May 2012 where Smeda was tasked to implement SME Development component in all districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as well as Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

The project has passed through difficult stages due to huge geographical coverage as well as a multi-sector approach. The record shows that project was not able to distribute enough grants in the initial year but has shown incredible improvement in the current year.  Talking to The Nation, Sarmad Khan, Project Manager ERKF told that the project is going to conclude in June 2015 but Smeda has already surpassed target of matching grants by awarding grants to more than 850 businesses.  This performance would result in benefiting more than targeted businesses. He said that ERKF project has a vast geographical presence and supported businesses in all parts of KPK and most areas of FATA belonging to different sectors.

A group of marble processors from Buner informed that the marble industry of Buner has suffered huge losses due to insurgency in 2009. But, no support was provided till ERKF project intervened.  It is highly commendable that at a time when most of donor funded projects are finding it very difficult to meet targets, ERKF project has surpassed targets with more than a year left for completion of the project.

This fact has also been appreciated by Dilroze Khan, Chairman of Chief Minister Donor Coordination Cell, during a meeting reviewing foreign funded projects.