ISLAMABAD-Italian Ambassador for Pakistan Stefano Pontecorvo concluded week-long PPR training sessions conducted by Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) in collaboration with Italian Agency for Development Cooperation and Luiss Business School, informed a spokesman on Saturday.

These trainings were especially conducted for communities based in Balochistan, KP and FATA with the aim to uplift their socio-economic conditions, he said.

The inauguration ceremony was attended by Italian Ambassador for Pakistan, Stefano Pontecorvo, Emanuela Benini, Director Italian Agency for Development Cooperation in Pakistan, Simi Kamal, Head of Programmes PPAF and Qazi Azmat Isa, CEO PPAF, he said.

Ambassador Stefano Pontecorvo revealed that the Italian government plans to invest 40 million Euros for youth development policies and programmes in Pakistan.

He said 65 percent of Pakistan’s population is under 35, immense potential lies in the youth of Pakistan and Italy hopes to invest more in youth development policies to empower the future of the country and contribute towards a prosperous tomorrow.

Speaking on this occasion, Emanuela Benini, Director, Italian Agency for Development Cooperation in Pakistan said, “We are delighted to see the impact of PPR training sessions for communities in Pakistan and hope that everyone had an insightful week of learning. We now look forward to the participants’ contributions towards sustainable development for their respective areas.”

Qazi Azmat CEO PPAF Isa also lauded the efforts of the Italian government in this regard and stressed that without their active participation such sessions could not have been possible.

“Positive interventions cannot be done in isolation, it is imperative for multiple stakeholders including academia, NGOs, governments to collaborate and work towards bringing a sustainable change,” said Qazi Azmat Isa.

Programme for Poverty Reduction runs in 14 districts of Pakistan covering 38 union councils in collaboration with 17 partner organisations, the goal of the programme is population poverty reduction through the creation of sustainable conditions of social and economic development, including income and production capacity increase.

It mainly focuses on four key areas including social mobilisation, livelihoods enhancement and protection, construction and improvement of small-scale community infrastructures and establishment of basic health and educational services.