KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Monday said United States Agency for International Development (USAID) supports people of Sindh through a range of progammes focusing on energy, economic growth and agriculture, resilience, education and health sectors.
He said this in a meeting with a delegation of USAID led by its Mission Director John Groarke at the CM House.
The other USAID delegation members included Deputy Mission Director Denise A Herbol, Advisor USAID Dr Zulfikar A Gorar. The chief minister was assisted by Minister Planning & Development Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani, Chief Secretary Rizwan Memon, ACS (Dev) M Waseem, Principal Secretary Naveed Kamran Baloch and others.
The meeting was told that the USAID has launched a $66 million Sindh Muncipal Services Programme (MSP) aimed at improving public infrastructure and municipal services in northern Sindh. The MSP’s centerpiece is Jacobabad Municipal Project which works to improve water, sanitation and solid waste infrastructure.
“The MSP is expected to deliver clean drinking water to more than 250,000 people. Since 2014 the USAID has also partnered with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNCF) to support MSP through social mobilization and capacity development initiatives,” the meeting was told.
The chief minister said that over 80 percent work on Jacobabad project has been completed. He urged the USAID Mission Director to replicate the same programme in Johi, Mehra, KN Shah, Shahdadkot and Kambar Ali Khan and added that the original project was also approved for these five cities. The mission director said that he would go through the project again.
Syed Murad Ali Shah also discussed economic growth and agriculture project. This project supports the development of livestock, vegetable and horticulture sectors in Sindh. The project is designed to increase exports by $265 million, raise income by 20 percent for 16,000 producers and create 30,000 jobs. He said this is the most important project and his government was giving special attention to its implementation.
The other project which came under discussion was wind energy project for which USAID has committed $43 million for construction of transmission lines to connect wind projects to the national grid. Once completed, these transmission lines will have the capacity to benefit around 2.6 million people.
Projects of education, health, scholarship programme, Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center (JPMC) and Jacobabad Instiutute of Medical Sciences (JISM).
Under Sindh Basic Education Programme (SBEP), USAID is providing up to $155 million to increase and sustain student enrolment in schools across seven northern districts and five districts of Karachi. Under SBEP about 100 new schools would be constructed and improve reading skills of over 200,000 children. The programme would also address malnutrition, a CM House statement said.
Under the health sector Maternal and Child Health (MCH) programme launched for $400 million in 2012 supports reproductive health and family planning as well as innovative approach to reduce maternal, newborn and child mortality and morbidity, it added.
The chief minister also discussed with Mission Director the `Resilience Programme’ which is actually a Youth Workforce Development Programme (YWDP). It is aimed at reducing the likelihood of extremism by building the resilience and skills of young people and communities.
In Karachi, it has been launched for $7 million with Aman Institute of Vocational Training. It is a three year programme designed to provide training to 3600 underprivileged youth, as well as the Youth Employment Project which aims to provide technical skills for more than 13,000 youth, said the CM House release.
The chief minister thanked the mission for support.