Islamabad- The Government of Denmark today launched its new development program for Pakistan 2013-2016. Denmark will contribute USD 50 Million for democratic development, regional stability, human rights and gender equality. Denmark will almost double its commitment from around USD 8 million annually to USD 14 million over the next three and half years as a continuation of the first program launched in 2010.
The Danish Minister for Development Cooperation, Mr. Chrstian Friis Bach, who is on a two day visit to Pakistan, hosted the ceremony under the large presence of representatives from the civil society, media, diplomatic core and UN agencies. Mr. Tariq Fatemi, the Special Assistance to the Prime Minister was the Guest of Honour.
In an interactive session, Mr. Bach talked about the new program in the context of Denmark’s overall development strategy, ”The Right To a Better Life”. He stressed that the Danish development program framework reflected the strategic choices made to support Pakistan in its democratic transition, especially taking account of the continued conflicts in the north-western border areas.
The Danish development strategy has a rights-based approach and focuses on the underlying power relations and fundamental causes of discrimination and poverty, giving priority to actions aimed at benefiting the poorest. The main objective of the program is to contribute to improving the lives of poor people and their ability to create a better life for themselves.
Denmark launched its first development program for Pakistan in 2010. The new program is a three and half years program and consists of two major components:
The first component aims to provide support to peace building, livelihoods and education in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Federally Administered Tribal Areas and Balochistan. The support will be provided through a Multi Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) with a total budget of USD 15 million, which is administered by the World Bank and implemented by the provincial authorities. The
MDTF program focuses on reconstruction and economic development in the areas bordering Afghanistan and will strengthen the writ of the state, thus emphasizing its role as duty bearer. In addition, USD 11 million will be channelled to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for early recovery of educational services in the border areas.
The second component focuses on enhanced democratization, human rights and gender equality. The support will be provided to (i) state building, including to statutory bodies in the human rights area and provincial assemblies in their role as duty bearers (USD 7 million); (ii) civil society organizations as rights holder representatives in the areas of democratization, human rights and gender equality (USD 13 million) and (iii) the strengthening of bilateral ties through ‘people to people’ partnership programs (USD 4 million).