UN-led programme for Fata recovery gets go-ahead
PESHAWAR, Feb 8: The federal government has given the go-ahead to the estimated $222 million multi-sectoral Early Recovery Assistance Framework (ERAF) programme for economic rehabilitation of militancy-stricken communities of Federally Administered Tribal Areas, it is learnt.
Official sources said that the Economic Affairs Division – an entity of the federal ministry of finance – had approved the programme about two weeks ago. The Fata Disaster Management Authority and United Nations Development Programme in collaboration with 13 UN agencies had jointly developed the programme to ensure rehabilitation of hundreds of thousands of displaced families.
The UNDP and other UN agencies had completed field survey in affected areas and the document was awaiting approval of the EAD for last one year. “The federal ministry had raised some observations which caused the delay,” said an official, adding that all irritants were removed.
The sources said that now the UN would negotiate with donors for provision of funds for the programme, which would be completed in three phases.
The programme would be implemented under the supervision of the UN and its partners through local communities in all agencies of Fata with special focus on Orakzai, Bajaur and Mohmand.
Initially, it was planned that the programme would be completed in a single phase, but the EAD did not agree with that. Under the revised plan, the programme would be implemented in three phases. For the first phase, the UN would ask donors to provide $75 million.
The official said that the government and other agencies, including political administration, had no role in implementation of the programme. He said that the UN and its partners would implement the programme and local communities would identify all schemes.
“There will be no interference from the government and the UN has been given lead role in the programme to ensure transparent utilisation of resources for rehabilitation of local communities,” he said and added that the UN was ready to approach international donors to provide funds for the plan.
He said that preparation of first phase of the project would be completed soon, following which the UN would negotiate with the donors for mobilisation of resources. He was optimistic that donors would give positive response to the UN appeal.
Early recovery need assessment survey was conducted in the affected areas in 2011. The programme would be implemented in eight different sectors, including farm to market roads, rehabilitation of irrigation channels, drinking water supply schemes, revitalisation of agriculture lands, provision of seeds, livestock, and recovery of education and health facilities.
The programme was designed to reintegrate hundreds of thousands of families who fled Fata owing to militancy and violence.
Around two million internally displaced persons from Fata are still living in camps, settled areas and with host families in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and other parts of the country. The programme’s main objectives are to ensure that the affected communities had access to food, basic social services, and livelihood and economic opportunities besides capacity building of local communities and authorities.