ISLAMABAD -Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) has entered into a financial agreement with seven partner organizations to implement Growth for Rural Advancement and Sustainable Progress (GRASP) project. The agreement was signed during a special ceremony held in Islamabad, said a press release issued here. PPAF is a core partner of the International Trade Centre (ITC) in implementing the six-year project which is designed to reduce poverty in Pakistan by strengthening small-scale agribusinesses. In two provinces including Balochistan and Sindh, GRASP project aims to uplift Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) by improving the business environment, promoting access to finance, and updating the policies and laws in 22 districts of both the provinces. The partner organizations include Strengthening Participatory Organization (SPO), Research and Development Foundation (RDF), Taraqee Foundation, Thardeep, Balochistan Rural Support Programme (BRSP), Goth Seengar Foundation, and Sindh Agricultural Forestry Workers and Coordinating Organization(SAFWCO). They have been taken onboard to implement the rural mobilisation and matching grant, as well as Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises(MSME) mapping in the select 22 districts. Group Head, PPAF, Irshad Khan Abbasi welcomed the partner organisations and said that the project will spearhead a sustainable change for the SMEs and their associated communities. While giving his views GRASP Chief Technical Adviser, Dr Tariq Sardar on the occasion said that it was a matter of great satisfaction that the international and local organisations coming together to uplift the SE’s to promote prosperity in the country. CEO, PPAF, Qazi Azmat Isa the efforts of PPAF and ITC in ensuring a transparent and collaborative selection process for taking partner organization on board. He also asserted that the partner organisations need to be adaptive and representative of the local context to ensure onground success of the programme.