QUETTA – Ambassador of the European Union Androulla Kaminara Saturday visited the Balochistan Rural Support Programme (BRSP) Head Office, here and met with rural communities under the EU-Funded Balochistan Rural Development and Community Empowerment (BRACE) Programme. According to a press release, the EU-Funded BRACE Programme works to improve access and quality of basic public services, reduce socio-economic inequalities, and create sustainable livelihood opportunities by bringing together rural communities and local governments. Rural Development is a strategic priority area for the European Union in its engagement with Pakistan.
The EU Ambassador was briefed by LSO Network (District Town), LSO Kamalzai and BRSP fostered women network about how rural women, through community organisations, are learning crucial life skills, importance of savings, hygiene and sanitation and computerised identity cards which allow them to vote and access government social safety net programmes such as Ehsaas.
She also met with beneficiaries of different interventions such as Income generating Grants, Community Investment Fund, TVET and Adult Literacy & Numeracy students.
Most importantly the EU-funded BRACE Programme has helped foster community organisations to work with local governments on their most critical needs such as access to clean drinking water, education and health facilities.
After meeting with members of women network and beneficiaries, EU Ambassador Androulla Kaminara remarked “The EU is committed to building back stronger as we continue the recovery from the pandemic, ending persistent poverty and building a more equal, fair & sustainable future for all.”
She said in Pakistan we are empowering communities to engage in informed and meaningful participation in decision-making processes and creating sustainable livelihoods, it was an honour to meet inspiring women from the village organisations.
It is important that women have access to facilities like registering themselves in NADRA for CNIC as it’s a prerequisite to access health, education and government social safety network programmes, she maintained.
She said EU would continue to work closely with its partners including the Government of Balochistan to empower the rural communities living below the poverty line” The BRACE Programme has provided 1,897 loans from a revolving fund to those with micro investment plans. The very poorest, have been given 5,378 Income Generating Grants to purchase assets in line with their income generating ideas to improve their family’s income.
Around 1,486 have learned demand driven technical skills in a range of sectors. Additionally, 123 community infrastructure schemes such as drinking water supply schemes have been initiated.
Approximately 7,584 women got literacy and numeracy skills.
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