PESHAWAR, 6 November: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Sardar Mahtab Ahmad Khan has said tribesmen had rendered great sacrifices for the peace of the entire region and now the time has come to reciprocate their sacrifices.

He urged international community to come one step forward and support them in their rehabilitation. He said repatriation process of TDPs has been started simultaneously from five tribal agencies and going on successfully adding that rehabilitation of TDPs and reconstruction of tribal areas was a challenging task and incumbent government is utilizing its full potential to make this possible.

He was addressing the launching ceremony of United Nations projects funded by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) here at Governor’s House, Peshawar to assist displaced families returning to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. United Nations Resident Coordinator Neil Buhne, and USAID Mission Director John Groarke attended the ceremony.

Other attendees included UNDP Pakistan Country Director Marc-André Franche, FAO Representative Patrick T. Evans, WFP Representative and Country Director Lola Castro, ACS FATA, Muhammad aslam Kamboh, Principal secretary to Governor, Sikandar Qayyum, officials of FATA secretariat and tribal leaders from project areas.

Addressing the ceremony, Governor expressed his appreciation for the support that will be provided by USAID and the United Nations agencies, and conveyed the Government of Pakistan’s commitment to the FATA Sustainable Return and Rehabilitation Strategy, which establishes a framework for returnees featuring rehabilitated infrastructure, reactivated local markets, and resilient communities.

He said tribesmen and our security forces had rendered great sacrifices for the peace of the entire region and their sacrifices will be remembered with dignity. He said steps have been taken to improve the economy and uplift of the living standard of tribesmen in order to discourage militancy and extremism.

He stated the government was determined to get rid of backwardness as it is inevitable for the eradication of militancy and extremism in FATA. USAID will provide approximately US$30 million over a two-year period to three United Nations agencies UNDP, WFP and FAO to support these projects.  The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will restore basic education facilities in FATA.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) will restore agricultural and pastoral livelihoods, while the World Food Programme (WFP) will expand its program to provide food and cash to displaced families in FATA.Speaking at the event, United Nations Resident Coordinator in Pakistan Neil Buhne said FATA has experienced many years of insecurity, resulting in badly damaged infrastructure, disrupted education, and scarce opportunities for earning a livelihood. As families return home, they need help to rebuild their livelihoods and communities.

By helping to meet these needs, under the government’s FATA Sustainable Return and Rehabilitation Strategy, USAID and the United Nations agencies will help to create a foundation for rebuilding strong, sustainable, and integrated communities.

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