Published in The News on February 24, 2017%%
The deputy speaker of the Sindh Assembly, Shehla Raza, appreciated and thanked the USAID (United States Agency for International Development) and the US government on Thursday for the assistance rendered in the matter of 53 grants worth $6.5 million benefitting over 280,000 people in the province.
She hailed the technical assistance by the US government as she spoke as chief guest at a function, arranged jointly by the USAID and the US Consulate General at a hotel, to showcase the impact and achievements of the Small Grants and the Ambassador’s Fund Programme (SGAFP).
Founded in 2010, the USAID-funded SGAFP has supported more than 50 grants in Sindh to the tune of $6.5 million. The programme supports a multitude of development needs by supporting innovative, community-based projects that can be speedily implemented.
Saeed Ashraf Siddiqui outlined the achievements of the SGAFP.
USAID Director for Sindh and Balochistan Denise Herbol said, “From building the capacities of coastal areas’ fishermen to undertaking integrated measures to protect endangered species, from inculcating reading skills among students to empowering women with disabilities through skills development, the SGAFP has touched and transformed the lives of over 280,000 people in Sindh by awarding grants in multiple sectors.”
Since its inception, the USAID Small Grants and Ambassador’s Fund Programme has provided $37 million to over 300 projects across Pakistan, improving the quality of life for two million people.
While the small grants component of the programme involves the civic participation initiatives, the Ambassador’s Fund pertains to projects related to the empowering vulnerable segments of the population, encouraging social entrepreneurship, developing small-scale energy solutions, promoting culture and the arts, and bracing for disaster preparedness.
Amber Alibhai of Shehri-Citizens for a Better Environment signed an agreement with the USAID for $25,000 for ensuring pro-active involvement of citizens in upgrading civic affairs.
Javed Hussain, chief of the Sindh Community Foundation, signed an agreement for $161,000 for improving education in Sindh.
Earlier, children of the Deaf Reach School, Rashidabad, presented the Pakistan national anthem in sign language, and the effort was highly appreciated.
Two small girls, one of them apparently under-5, students of a school in the interior of the province which has been the beneficiary of the USAID programme, sang nursery rhymes in English.
A documentary, titled “The art of revival”, was screened showing women in the rural areas of Sindh augmenting their income by learning the techniques of block printing, embroidery, stitching and painting of textiles, apart from tailoring and other crafts that would help them supplement their income.
Dr Asher Hassan, CEO of Naya Jeevan (a Karachi-based NGO), spoke about the Naya Jeevan medical centre in Karachi’s Sultanabad area, which has a heavy concentration of migrants from the Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa.
He said the community had needs in various fields which were not met. So, he said, they carried out a baseline survey of 25,000 people. The centre has two doctors, two nurses and social mobilisers.
He said that they had reached agreements with the Ziauddin Hospital in Keamari and the Burhani Hospital for screening and treatment of patients. He said there was also the facility of patients consulting their doctors through video in the far-flung rural areas and the urban slums.
This website is made possible by the support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents are the sole responsibility of National Rural Support Programme (NRSP) and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.