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KARACHI: Planning and Development Department (P&DD), Government of Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B), and Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF), have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) here at Gilgit Baltistan Secretariat, Islamabad, to reduce poverty and enhance socio economic development in far flung areas of Gilgit-Baltistan under collaborated development initiatives.

P&DD, Government of Gilgit-Baltistan and PPAF, under the collaboration, will undertake joint development strategies in various areas including institutional development, innovation and culture, entrepreneurship, productive infrastructure and energy, education, tourism, social welfare, and agriculture.

Syed Abrar Hussain, Additional Chief Secretary, Government of Gilgit-Baltistan, and Qazi Azmat Isa, CEO PPAF, signed the MoU on behalf of the Government of Gilgit-Baltistan and PPAF respectively in the presence of Khalid Khurshid, Chief Minister, Gilgit-Baltistan, Irshad Khan Abbasi, Group Head, Institutions, Integration, and Innovation PPAF, Fateh-Ullah Khan, Senior Minister P&DD and Information Gilgit-Baltistan, Usman Ahmed, Secretary to Chief Minister and Waqar Abbas, Business Development Lead, were present on the occasion.

Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Minister Khalid Khursheed termed the signing of MoU between Gilgit-Baltistan Government and PPAF a landmark to initiate various important development activities in the region. While sharing his views about this newly established collaboration, he said, "I am sure that this collaboration will help in ushering new era of development under the collaborated initiatives, especially in the less developed areas of Gilgit-Baltistan."

Qazi Azmat Isa, CEO, PPAF, on the occasion said, "PPAF believes in the inclusive & integrated effort in reducing poverty in far flung districts and I am confident that joining hands with Gilgit-Baltistan Government would enhance and strengthen the scope and impact of our work in underserved districts of Gilgit-Baltistan."

The collaboration between Government of Gilgit-Baltistan and PPAF, would streamline the work of both partners to engage with communities to achieve SDGs, CPEC related development targets, and Gilgit-Baltistan Socio Economic Development Plan.

PPAF, under the MoU, will facilitate the Government of Gilgit-Baltistan to engage with its Partner Organisations and local communities to initiate the activities of economic and social development whereas the Government of Gilgit-Baltistan will share its financial support to jointly initiated projects and support to PPAF and its partner organisations during the implementation of the projects through concerned line departments and government Institutions.

Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Minister on the occasion also announced that Soni Jawari Centre for Public Policy is being established which will formulise social protection and various policies to mainstream different sectors within Gilgit-Baltistan. Therefore, PPAF's technical assistance will be sought to strengthen and expand the scope of its work.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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