PESHAWAR - A delegation from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), led by its Resident Representative, Samuel Rizk, met with the Caretaker Chief Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), Azam Khan, on Tuesday.
The discussion revolved around various public welfare programs under the UNDP portfolio. Possibilities of further extending collaboration between the provincial government and UNDP in different social sectors were also explored during the meeting.
Chief Minister Khan stressed the need for enhanced cooperation from UNDP and other partner organizations in the merged tribal districts. He emphasized that the people in these districts have suffered greatly due to decades-long militancy, resulting in severe developmental disparities compared to other regions of the country. He called for special attention from both the government and donor agencies, especially in basic infrastructure development, to bring these areas up to par with the rest of the province.
Chief Minister Khan commended UNDP for its continued financial and technical support to the provincial government across various social sectors. He expressed hope for ongoing collaboration and cooperation between UNDP and the provincial government.
Khan noted that the merger of Ex-FATA into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was a positive step and urged UNDP to expand its collaboration in these areas to accelerate development. He also emphasized the need to strengthen police infrastructure in these regions to improve the law and order situation.
Azam Khan suggested that UNDP carry out programs in the Rural Development sector of the province with the active participation of local communities to ensure program sustainability. He expressed serious concern about the rising trend of drug use among the province’s youth and stressed the need for UNDP collaboration on both prevention and treatment. The Chief Minister assured that the caretaker provincial government would provide full support to UNDP in executing its public welfare initiatives.
During the meeting, Samuel Rizk, the Resident Representative of UNDP, commended the provincial government for its support in executing UNDP programs. He highlighted various ongoing programs in the social sector, including the Merged Areas Governance Program, Rule & Law project, Economic Revival Program, Eco-Tourism, Flood Recovery Program, and HIV Control Program. Rizk emphasized the close coordination between UNDP and relevant provincial government departments for program implementation and expressed UNDP’s intent to expand collaboration in the future.