ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Italy has signed an agreement on water projects for provision of clean and quality drinking water for southern districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa under Refugee Affected and Hosting Areas (RAHA) through Pakistan Italian Debt Swap Agreement (PIDSA).
The agreement was signed by Federal Minister for States and Frontier Regions Let. Gen (r) Abdul Qadir Baloch and Italian Ambassador in Pakistan Stefano Pontecorvo.
Under the RAHA program, in order to meet the drinking water needs of the hosting community and Afghan refugees residing in southern districts of KP, it was proposed that eight solarized water supply schemes were presented as unitary project aiming at improving water use efficiency and quality drinking water in southern districts of KP, Lakki Marwat, Dera Ismail Khan, Bannu and Tank, through government line departments. The total cost of projects is Rs150.341 million.
The minister appreciated the initiative taken by the Italian government and said that such projects will greatly benefit the residents of the southern districts of KP, as there are considerable number of Afghan refugees residing in those areas. But since these districts could not get the necessary funding. Also the availability of clean drinking water is a major issue in those areas and the Italian government initiative will be very helpful in improving the conditions of the host communities.
The Italian Ambassador has lauded the efforts of Pakistan in hosting the huge number of Afghan refugees and pledged to further extend the cooperation in other areas also.
The goal of RAHA is to benefit the communities and to support host communities and Afghan refugees through humanitarian projects in targeted districts throughout Pakistan resulting in social cohesion and harmony between the said communities.