Danish Minister for Development Cooperation launches Pakistan Programme 2013-2016

The government of Denmark has launched its new development programme for Pakistan 2013-2016. Denmark will contribute $50 million for democratic development, regional stability, human rights and gender equality. Denmark will almost double its commitment from around $8 million annually to $14 million over the next three-and-a-half years as a continuation of the first programme launched in 2010. Daily Times reported.

danish-pak-progThe Danish Minister for Development Cooperation Christian 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. Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Tariq Fatemi was the guest of honour.

In an interactive session, Bach talked about the new programme in the context of Denmark’s overall development strategy, ‘The Right To a Better Life’. He stressed that the Danish development programme 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 programme is to contribute to improving the lives of poor people and their ability to create a better life for themselves.

The first component aims to provide support to peace building, livelihoods and education in KP, Federally Administered Tribal Areas and Balochistan. The support will be provided through a Multi-Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) with a total budget of $15 million, which is administered by the World Bank and implemented by the provincial authorities. The MDTF programme focuses on reconstruction and economic development in the areas bordering Afghanistan and will strengthen the writ of the state, thus emphasising its role as duty bearer. In addition, $11 million will be channelled to the United Nations Children’s Fund for early recovery of educational services in the border areas. The second component focuses on enhanced democratisation, human rights and gender equality. The support will be provided to state building, including to statutory bodies in the human rights area and provincial assemblies in their role as duty bearers ($7 million); civil society organisations as rights holder representatives in the areas of democratisation, human rights and gender equality ($13 million); and the strengthening of bilateral ties through ‘people to people’ partnership programmes ($4 million).

Denmark launched its first development programme for Pakistan in 2010. The new programme is a three-and-a-half years programme and consists of two major components.

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