UN agencies to partner on Early Recovery
Islamabad, July 13, 2011: Three of the United Nations Agencies currently engaged in the rural aspects of the post-flood Early Recovery and manmade emergencies in Pakistan namely, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the World Food Programme (WFP) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) envisaging joint implementation of projects valued at US$ 300 million in affected areas across the country. This is in the spirit of the OneUN agenda for Delivering as One. Pakistan is one of the original eight OneUN pilot countries. The agreement reconfirms the ideals that it is better to work together, sharing relative strengths. The agreement is expected to improve UN ability to support Government leadership in a more coordinated and effective manner.
Modalities of the joint action agreement were agreed up by the three agencies during a consultative workshop in Islamabad which was attended by the Kevin Gallagher, FAO Representative; Toshihiro Tanaka, Country Director UNDP; Wolfgang Herbinger, Country Representative WFP. UN staff from the provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Balochistan, Sindh and Punjab, along with Early Recovery Working Group coordinators and various NGO Implementing Partners engaged in the early recovery efforts across the country.
The understanding, signed by the country heads of the three agencies, assures effective collaboration for agricultural infrastructure rehabilitation activities in the flood/crisis affected areas; restoration of basic and critical community physical infrastructure; livelihoods generation through on and off-farm trainings and asset recovery, small business grants, debt reduction through cash for work and food for work schemes. It will also include capacity building of local institutions and affected communities towards sustainable community development; and mainstreaming and integration of disaster risk reduction, gender, protection of the vulnerable and environmental concerns in all projects and programmes.
Earlier this year, innovative local staff of FAO, UNDP and WFP launched pilot projects in the districts of DI Khan, Swat and Shangla in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). One of the first joint projects included rehabilitation of a water channel at village Thatta Balocha in District DI Khan for which UNDP provided material support, WFP provided food assistance for unskilled labour while FAO contributed cash for skilled labour and technical assistance. The scheme was completed by the community within the stipulated time and will benefit a around 8,000 people by minimizing water losses and bringing additional land under cultivation. Another project under implementation is the construction of a link road in Shangla under the same principles. Drawing on the success of these pilots, the efforts will be up-scaled and replicated over Early Recovery districts under the agreed MoU.
Commending the efforts of the UN agencies to work together in early recovery, the UN Resident Coordinator/Humanitarian Coordinator, Mr. Timo Pakkala, stated, ‘The One UN in Pakistan, brings together the collective strengths of all UN agencies for better service delivery to the people of Pakistan. This initiative is in line with the spirit of delivering as one to ensure that the needs of the flood affected people are met comprehensively”.
For further information and media assistance, please contact, Fatimah Inayet, Communications Analyst, UNDP Pakistan