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US recognizes bravery of conflict affected women of FATA and KPK


Friday, 07 March 2014   19:39:23

US recognizes bravery of conflict affected women of FATA and KPK

      ISLAMABAD, Mar 7 (APP): The United States government through
U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) recognized the
bravery and determination of the women of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK)
and Federally Administrator Tribal Area (FATA) to resume normal life
after being victims of conflict.
      A special function was held here at Lok Virsa by USAID on the
occasion of "International Women Day"  to acknowledge the
determination, courage and bravery of women who had endured
significant losses due to conflict in their areas and now determined
to resume a normal life for themselves and their families.
      Under its Conflict Victims Support Project, the USAID brought
some of the women who had started normal life and earning for
themselves and their family members with the financial and technical
support from USAID.
      The US government through USAID funded Conflict Victims
Support Program providing economic, social and medical assistance as
well as scholarships to the families and children survivors of
conflict in KPK and FATA.
      The vast majority of these survivors lost male family members,
most often the main breadwinner to violence and insecurity in these
areas.
      USAID Mission Director Gregory Gottlieb speaking on the
occasion assured that USAID will continue its assistance and
cooperation to such victims so that they can lead normal life.
      Recognizing the courage of women he said, "Women play an
integral part in the development of a society, and I am sure that
you will leave a legacy of hard work and bravery that your children
will be proud of."
      He said USAID wants to provide best possible educational and
medical facilities and imparting technical assistance to victims of
conflict.
      He said three years programme of USAID with dollars 25 million
Conflict Victims Support Programme for KPK and FATA will be extended
in future according to the needs in these areas.
      Gregory Gottlieb said so far, over 6800 families had been
benefitted from this programme. Facilities at six hospitals of KPK
and FATA have been improved and 1095 community members and medics
have been trained.
      The programme, he said, is part of comprehensive US assistance
programme in Pakistan ensuring women in all of its programmes to
increase opportunities for women"s participation in the labour
force, expand girl's access to quality basic education, improve
maternal and child health, and promote women's political, economic
and social rights.
      The USAID through this Conflict Victims Support Program
celebrated International Women Day by shedding light on the strength
and resilience of women in FATA and KP.
      Some of the women beneficiaries, were present on this occasion
who demonstrated how they were able to overcome their circumstances
and provided for their families after losing their main breadwinners
in conflict.
      The Conflict Victims Support Program provides social, medical,
and economic assistance to civilian victims - individuals, families
and communities suffering losses from conflict-related violence in
KP and FATA. 
      The Program focuses on the most vulnerable population
including widowed women and orphans.
      The female beneficiaries shared their stories of how they were
able to restore their lives and livelihoods with USAID's support. 
      The conflict in KP and FATA claimed thousands of lives. Most
of the victims are males who leave behind scores of widowed women
and orphaned children whose story is often overshadowed.
      A 13 years old girl, Laiqa speaking on the occasion said, "We
suffered an emotional financial blow and I had to quit school when
my father died in a bomb blast four years ago."
      She said due to USAID, now she is able to continue her studies
and her mother had opened a store for honorable earning.
      Another women Asia Arshad who lost her husband and son in bomb
blast said with USAID support now she is able to feed her daughters.
      Chief of the Party of the project Arshad Sheikh and Dania
Gharaibeh Director of the project also spoke on the occasion.
      Under this programme 1823 victims were provided vocational
training and 886 small business owned by conflict victims were
rehabilitated.
      More than 1629 conflict victims in FATA and KPK were provided
psycho-social and medical assistance while 1094 high risk
communities were delivered mass casualty management and first aid
training while 1385 children orphaned or directly impacted by the
conflict were awarded scholarships under this programme.