UK Announces £ 800,000 for Upscaling Support to Local Government in Earthquake Areas through UNDP
16 March, 2007
Islamabad: UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) is to provide £800,000 (US$ 1.6 million) to UNDP in support of its Building Enabling Governance and Institutions for Earthquake Response (BEGIN-ER) Project. This agreement was made in addition to DFID’s current support to the project amounting to £1.067 million (US$ 2.08 million), and bringing the total to £1.867 million (US$ 3.68 million). To date, DFID has made a total contribution of £128 million to earthquake emergency relief, reconstruction and rehabilitation projects.
BEGIN-ER, operational since August 2006 is providing support to the Governments of NWFP and AJK with regards to rebuilding governance institutions in the earthquake affected areas. This project aims at enabling local government institutions to recommence their activities effectively and efficiently, while simultaneously developing technical capacities for planning and implementing disaster response activities through a transparent, equitable and participatory process. Furthermore, it is building capacity of local government officials, elected representatives and civil society through district level workshops on disaster management and disaster risk reduction.
UNDP responsible for project implementation is ensuring that the project staff is actively working in the field in coordination with local government departments and covering all nine districts of the earthquake affected area. 310 prefabricated structures along with the much needed equipment and furniture have been received at UNDP camp Garhi Habibullah. In consultation and agreement with the provincial and district officials, a total of more than 220 prefabs have been delivered and erected on the sites. Beneficiary government departments include primarily local government departments, police, DRUs, agriculture and livestock, among others. It is expected that the remaining will also be delivered by April.
This additional funding will cover the needs of government departments identified as urgent during the second steering committee meeting of the project, held in February 2007. This funding has therefore arrived at the right time to support local government departments, and will assist in better service delivery in the earthquake affected region. Local government institutions at the district, tehsil and union council levels are expected to play a critical role in the reconstruction and rehabilitation process. The undeniable human and physical loss requires the development of skills as well as restoration of physical infrastructure.
Dr. Yusuf Samiullah, Head of DFID Pakistan, said, “Following the positive results that were achieved with the first £1 million DFID gave to the BEGIN-ER project, we are once again delighted to be able to support UNDP’s work in this way. Ensuring that strong governance institutions exist is extremely important in helping life return to normal for the people living in the earthquake-affected areas.”
Ms. Mikiko Tanaka, Deputy Country Director UNDP stated that “DFID’s contribution will go a long way in successfully upscaling support through BEGIN-ER”. She further added that the additional DFID support “will meet critical demands of the government and enable local departments to operate effectively before a long term rehabilitation of infrastructure is completed”.