ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) and International Trade Centre (ITC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for developing framework for cooperation for poverty reduction in rural areas of Sindh and Balochistan.

Under the MoU, which was signed here, PPAF will provide technical input based on its research, experience and expertise of working with the grassroots communities.

The ITC will provide support in developing Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and creating gender inclusive employment and income opportunities by linking them with the global markets.

Talking on the occasion, Qazi Azmat Isa, CEO, PPAF, commented, "The partnership between PPAF and ITC will open new avenues for expanding scope of PPAF's work and contributing towards United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals."

Rob Skidmore, Chief, Sector and Enterprise Competitiveness Division of Enterprises and Institutions, ITC, said, "ITC is delighted to combine our knowledge of SME competitiveness and value chains with PPAF's deep expertise in grass roots development SME competitiveness and improving value chains and PPAF's deep expertise in grass roots development to make a real difference in the lives of the poor."

ITC, with its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, is the joint technical cooperation agency of the WTO.

It aims at building awareness and improving the availability and use of trade intelligence, strengthening trade and investment support institutions and policy makers, connecting to international value chains and promoting and mainstreaming inclusive and green trade.

The PPAF is the lead apex institution for community-driven development in Pakistan.