Landikotal: FATA Projects Director General Zahir Shah said on Thursday that the Refugee Affected and Hosting Areas Programme (RAHA), being implemented with the financial support of the Government of Japan, had ushered in a new era of development in the tribal areas.
Speaking as guest of honour at an event titled ‘RAHA: at the Forefront of FATA’s Uplift’, Zahir Shah said that the activities being undertaken under the programme had helped the people in the target areas by increasing their income, developing their capacity, enhancing social cohesion and rehabilitating or constructing community physical infrastructure.
He stressed that despite the role played by RAHA in the region’s development, more than 80% of the FATA’s population still needs to be facilitated in terms of safe drinking water, and health and education facilities.
Japanese Counsellor for Economic and Development Affairs Naoki Kamoshida, the chief guest, maintained that the stability of the region near the Pak-Afghan border was essential for peace and, based on this recognition, Japan had been collaborating with the UN agencies to promote socio-economic development in FATA.
Kamoshida said that the Japanese assistance to RAHA was aimed at improving livelihoods of the people and building capacity of the local government entities. He informed that the two-year programme included interventions ranging from the improvement of community infrastructure and livelihoods to provision of basic social services.
UNDP Deputy Country Director Tracy Vienings said that the purpose of the event was to share the experiences of RAHA beneficiaries with the audience at large. She also thanked the Government of Japan for extending support to the RAHA programme.
FATA Projects Additional Director General Yousaf Rahim made a presentation on RAHA’s achievements. Heads of UN agencies implementing RAHA and selected community members also spoke on the occasion.