Islamabad - The Embassy of Denmark here on Monday celebrated the completion of its development programme 2010-2017 in Pakistan. Around 5.7 million people have benefited from the Danish  Government’s support to the Multi-Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) which helped revitalise the economy, and improve education and health services in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Federally Administered Tribal Areas and Balochistan.

Denmark’s partnership with MDTF was one of the many partnerships and achievements presented at the event organized by the Danish Embassy.

Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal was the chief guest, who along with Danish Ambassador Ole Thonke inaugurated the event.

Speaking on the occasion, the minister said the Pakistan government was putting its extra efforts to overcome the challenges which resulted in rapid economic growth and prosperity in the country.

“Pakistan’s Vision 2025 is our roadmap to ensure that we achieve the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are particularly important for Pakistan,” he remarked.

Ahsan Iqbal said the government sincerely appreciated the support provided by Denmark to the country at all levels. “We value our partners and look forward to further enhancing our cooperation in all sectors,” he added.

The event included various sessions on media and democracy, human rights, gender equality and enhancing economic growth through livelihood opportunities and creative industries.

During the session, both key experts and development partners discussed achievements and the continuous challenges in the country within these issues, highlighting the benefits of strong partnerships between the Government of Pakistan, civil society and the international donor community.

Ole Thonke, on the occasion, said Denmark wanted to see a strong, open and progressive Pakistan as the country was a key player in the process of building regional peace and development.

The Ambassador appreciated the Government of Pakistan for taking many laudable steps to strengthen people’s rights such as increasing focus on education and health services and passing legislation on the children and women rights.

He said that human rights was the backbone of Denmark’s development strategy, as social justice was a key pillar in building democratic societies.

Thonke also underlined the benefits of instilling the youth with democratic values such as equality, freedom and justice. “Our future focus will be on creating government and business partnerships, which will result in knowledge sharing, job creations and innovative solutions. By doing so, we hope to support Pakistan with key challenges in energy, water and health. We will continue to be partner for a sustainable, peaceful and progressing Pakistan,” he added.

The Government of Denmark launched its first development programme for Pakistan in 2010 with a total budget of $28 million, which aimed to support Pakistan within the areas of human rights, democracy and peace and gender equality. After three years of successful partnerships and development interventions, the Danish government expanded its collaboration and engagement in Pakistan and launched a new program up to 2017 with a budget of $50 million.