ISLAMABAD: The government of Japan has extended financial support to four social development projects for under-privileged communities, totalling US $ 319,804.

The projects will be implemented by four Pakistani NGOs: Concern Lane Alliance for Rural Areas (CLARA); Naziran Yousaf Memorial Trust (NAYMET); Sustainable Development Organization (SDO); and Zalan Communications (ZCOMMS).

The agreements for the projects were signed today in Islamabad, between Chargé d' Affaires ad Interim of the Embassy of Japan to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Mr. Junya Matsuura, and the heads of the four organizations.

The grant of US $ 76,110 awarded to NGO CLARA will enable the construction of a school in Madina Town, District Faisalabad (Punjab). The school currently enrolls 115 children of marginalized communities in a rented building. The new building with better-quality facilities will be able to accommodate up to 300 students. The increase in number of the enrollment of students is expected in the coming years.

NAYMET, will utilize its grant of US $80,090 for the provision of safe drinking water to deprived people in District Shigar through installation of pipeline, hand pumps, and bio water filters. Since its establishment, the NGO has been actively working to uplift the living conditions of socially deprived and neglected communities through service delivery at the grass-roots level. Aligning with its goals the project is expected to provide safe drinking water, particularly in winter seasons, to approximately 3,548 individuals (271 Households) in 10 villages of the selected district.

With the grant of US $ 86,903, SDO will also construct a school for girls in village Phullawai, which is one of the most remote areas of District Neelum. The new school will be 3,867ft2 with 7 classrooms, where 140 girl students will study. Other facilities including bathrooms are also part of the project. The NGO is committed to provide free education for up to 30 % of total students, belonging to neediest families, in order to encourage and promote education of girls in the District.

The grant of US $ 76,701 awarded to ZCOMMS will assist in the renovation of a century old primary level school called Fazul-Islam School Rustam, District Mardan (Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa) by reconstructing its existing classrooms. The school already provides education to 131 needy students.

However, the current condition of the old building is life-threatening and discourages many students from attending the school on a daily basis. The new improved infrastructure with the capacity to accommodate 280 students will not only encourage the promotion of education in the neediest segments of the local community but also improve the attendance of the current students.

Matsuura, at the signing ceremony, expressed the commitment of the Government of Japan for helping under-privileged communities. He then further assured continuous support for improved water and education facilities, and hoped that the projects signed today would certainly strengthen the friendly relations between the people of Japan and those in the communities.

The government of Japan had provided US $ 692,012 in total to Pakistani NGOs in the current Japanese Fiscal Year (April 2015 – March 2016) under the GGP program so far. This is the final batch of grants for the current fiscal year and with these four new projects the total funds provided in the current fiscal year reaches up to US $ 1,011,816.