KP govt launches second phase of AIP in merged areas

Peshawar   –   The government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa announced details of its most ambitious interventions in the merged tribal areas with the launch of the second phase of the Accelerated Implementation Program (AIP) set to chart the course of development in the region for the next three years.

The Provincial government at the merged tribal areas Development Partners’ Summit organized by the Planning & Development Department, Government of KP in Islamabad, announced that it wanted to solve the challenges of the underdeveloped region to bring it to par with the rest of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Korean Ambassador to Pakistan, diplomats from Japan and Germany as well as Canadian High Commission and representatives from European Union Delegation to Pakistan, United States Aid for International Development (USAID), Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, and Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), INL, KFW, Italian Agency for Development Cooperation, United Nations Development Program (UNDP) were also present, amongst others.

KP Finance Minister Taimur Jhagra opened the session by describing the journey and challenges, the government faced since the merger of former FATA with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He said, “Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had little fiscal space but we still overcame the shortfalls in funding for merged areas with our resources despite an annual shortfall of more than Rs70 billion. We are and we will be committed to merged areas for the long run, despite any financial or security challenges.”

At the event, KP Additional Chief Secretary (ACS) Shahab Ali Shah presented a detailed presentation on AIP II, which has been designed with the input of the people of merged areas and sector experts with international standing. AIP II would build on the gains in health, infrastructure, agriculture, education, and other sectors already delivered on.

Knut Ostby, Resident Representative UNDP Pakistan, spoke via teleconference from Norway and congratulated the government for the work done and progress made in merged areas since the merger. He expressed hope that the innovations, solutions lab, and Special Emphasis Programs in AIP II would continue to foster a culture of context-specific solutions that are data-driven. Kamran Bangash, KP Minister for Higher Education, recalled how he implemented the provision of transport for students and started bachelor’s degree programs in merged areas.

At the event, the ACS shared that the provincial government is working on a mechanism to coordinate with the development partners in high-level meetings and technical working groups to ensure every cent of their donation makes the most impact in the lives of the people of MA.

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