PESHAWAR, 1 November: The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in partnership with the FATA Secretariat inaugurated the FATA Economic Revitalisation Programme on Tuesday at an event in Peshawar.

Representatives from USAID and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) signed the Rs1.6 billion (US$ 15 million) award for building sustainable livelihoods in three FATA agencies – South Waziristan, North Waziristan and Khyber – affected by insecurity and displacement, says a press release.

Speaking at the ceremony, USAID’s Assistant to the Administrator, Office of Afghanistan and Pakistan Affairs, Gregory F Huger said, “The FATA Economic Revitalisation Program will help improve quality of life for residents of FATA. I am confident this new initiative will not only contribute to livelihood and resilience but will also lead to sustainable economic development in the region.”

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra also spoke at the ceremony along with the US Consul General Stephen Fakan and USAID/Pakistan Mission Director Jerry Bisson.

The FATA Economic Revitalisation Programme will benefit nearly 17,000 families over three years, improving access to non-farming livelihoods for people returning to the FATA after being displaced. The programme will also foster a partnership among the government and private sector for long-term employment creation and inclusive economic growth.

“This partnership builds on our successes over two years of working with communities under the FATA Transition and Recovery Programme to rebuild livelihoods after years of insecurity,” said UNDP Country Director Ignacio Artaza.

The United States is helping the Government of Pakistan to improve the lives of residents in FATA through humanitarian assistance and housing, educational, and livelihood support to rebuild stable communities.