Pakistan: restoring socio-economic fabric in quake-hit areas


Islamabad : More than 1,500 community members have been provided training in different trades under European Commission’s supported Community Based Livelihood Recovery Programme in quake-hit areas of NWFP and AJK.

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The project having cost of Euro 1.7 million (April 2006 to April 2009) envisages immediate support and mid-term livelihoods recovery of the vulnerable population and training was provided in trades including masonry works or as technicians or service providers.

According to information available with APP here Tuesday, community workers and managers were also trained in management skills and communications.

New leaders and activists were identified to join the mainstream of community members and participated in different training to get self-employment opportunities in their own villages i.e. tailoring, paper mashie, embroidery and candle making.

Government line departments and functionaries were also trained in project planning and management under the project.

More than 120,000 local farmers were given assistance by providing 225 metric ton quality crop seeds and 465 metric ton of chemical fertilisers in the project area.

This activity was highly appreciated due to its strong impact on food security and bumper wheat and maize crops.

The damaged environment was also rehabilitated through reforestation and settingup of micro-infrastructure to facilitate the community needs.

According to European Commission, the trained individuals are now bread earners for their families and the majority has either their own businesses or earn their living as paid workers.

Distribution of quality seed and fertilizers among community members and training in good agriculture practices has resulted in better crop yields and, as a result, better income for the farmers.

The target community members are now pleased with the support given by the project to revive their agriculture through provision of quality seed and fertilizers.

After the earthquake there would have been no hope to revive their agriculture practices if the project had not helped them.

They were of the view that such timely help interventions would ease sufferings and would ultimately revive livelihood opportunities of the desperate families.

Rehabilitation of the critical micro-infrastructure is directly benefiting the affected population and easing their difficulties.

The water tank constructed at a cost of Rs. 300,000 is benefiting more than 350 families. The women are especially relieved for fetching water from long distances and their saved time and energy is now available for other productive activities and vocational training programmes.

By implementing this scheme people feel more encouraged, united and strong in their commitment in October 8, 2005 earthquake recovery.

The earthquake played havoc with the production bases of the local population, destroying the wage based as well as natural resources based livelihoods both in rural and urban areas of Azad Jammu and Kashmir and North-West Frontier Province (NWFP).

The European Commission had joined hands with UNDP and started the Community Based Livelihood Recovery Programme with the purpose to restore the socio-economic fabric in the affected areas by reinstating basic socio-economic infrastructure and livelihoods.