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PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2009 4:59 am    Post subject: PAKISTAN INSTITUTIONAL ACTIVITIES Reply with quote

Over 150 disable children participate in art competition
By Bushra Makhdoom

ISLAMABAD—Over 150 disable children from 20 special education institutions of the capital participated in national art competition here Thursday to showcase their hidden creative talents.

The event titled, “Meri Duniya Kay Rang” was organized by the Network of Organization Working People with Disabilities, Pakistan (NOWPDP), an initiative taken by the Agha Khan Council for Pakistan.

The competition aimed at providing children with disabilities the opportunity to boost their abilities from a public platform that provides recognition of their abilities alongside the promotion of an inclusive society. Members of the civil society attended the competition followed by an exhibition to generate awareness of the potential of people with disabilities as positive and equal contributors to all aspects of society. While the participants were offered two categories to choose from Painting/Drawing and Calligraphy. The competition aimed to achieve a twofold objective: to give these children a public platform to display their talent to the society, and to provide them with the opportunity to interact, share and feel accepted.

The children displayed their ideas on various topics with the medium of pencil, crayons and watercolors. The goals of the programme were to promote the social participation of people with disabilities, provide children with disabilities the opportunity to showcase their talents on a public forum, generate a greater level of awareness about the potential of children and adults with disabilities as active positive contributors to society and provide networking grounds for participating organizations and schools. NOWPDP’s primary aim is to make a significant difference to the quality of life and welfare of persons with disabilities by the provision of strategic support augmenting the functioning of organizations working for such persons across Pakistan.

In the form of this art competition, NOWPDP hopes to provide an opportunity for children to enjoy themselves, while bolstering the children’s confidence in their own abilities and motivating them toward actualizing their immense potential.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2009 3:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aga Khan Planning and Building Services Pakistan’s Project selected for World Energy Globe Award
April 10, 2009

Posted by ismailimail in Asia, Pakistan, Planning and Building Services.

The Building and Construction Improvement Program (BACIP) – a built environment improvement initiative by Aga Khan Planning and Building Service, Pakistan - has been selected as the best project in Pakistan for the World ENERGY GLOBE Award, 2008. Out of a total of 800 entries from 111 countries, BACIP has won the award for Pakistan.

This Award is reputed to be a very important environmental award in the world. It has two categories of winners - international winners in five categories and national winner (one from each country participating).
The award ceremony is expected to be held in Prague this year where political VIPs from around the world will meet at the gala event in the realm of the Czech EU presidency

Applicant: Aga Khan Planning and Building Services, Pakistan
Project title: Building and Construction Improvement Program


Pakistani project wins EU energy award

Thursday, April 16, 2009
By our correspondent

KARACHI: Building and Construction Improvement Programme (BACIP), a project of Aga Khan Planning and Building Service, Pakistan, an agency of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), was recognised at the Energy Globe Award ceremony in Prague on Tuesday.

Reduction of domestic energy consumption by 40 per cent, resulting in 60 per cent less emission of green house gases from homes and decreased morbidity of Acute Respiratory Infection (ARI), pneumonia and other health related disease in women and children by 50 per cent are some of the benefits of the BACIP realised by over 150,000 people in Pakistan.

Established in 1997 as a research and extension programme, the BACIP has proved that products efficiently using wood can reduce the deforestation rate in the Northern Areas and Chitral by over 40 per cent. Till date, the BACIP has introduced 70 energy efficient and living condition improvement products and technologies in local communities where approximately 15,000 of them have been installed in various households, contributing in environmental, social and economic sustainability leading to poverty reduction and improved health and well-being of communities.

Receiving the award, Hafiz Sherali, Aga Khan Building Services Pakistan Chairman, said the contribution of the BACIP in uplifting the living conditions of the people in Northern Areas of Pakistan has been a source of tremendous satisfaction for AKPBSP.
National Award

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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 2:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Project to reduce greenhouse gases in the NAs begins

Islamabad: A two-day inception workshop for the ‘Promotion of Energy Efficient Cooking, Heating and Housing Technologies’ (PEECH) project concluded here today. (Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at Margalla Hotel, Islamabad).

The Government of Pakistan, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the WWF, the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), the governments of NWFP and Northern Areas (NAs) and other development agencies; including the Global Environment Facility (GEF), will implement the project in the Northern Areas to reduce degradation of forests and decrease emission of greenhouse gases including Carbon Dioxide (CO2).

The project will be completed in four years and benefit around thirty two thousand households. It is expected to reduce CO2 emissions from eleven to five tons per household annually through introduction of energy-efficient heating instruments and promotion of environment friendly building techniques. It will also improve health conditions through reduced respiratory tract infections and other illnesses caused by in-house smoke. The project will further contribute to strengthening of household economies by cutting expenditures upon fuel wood and the money used for treatment of illnesses.

Speaking to the inception workshop, Ms Mikiko Tanaka, Deputy Country Director, UNDP said that the involvement of local communities is vital for environmental sustainability in the Northern Areas. She said that the region is facing challenges of environmental degradation and depletion of precious resources for which initiatives like these are extremely important.

Mr Abdul Qadir Rafiq, Programme Specialist, UNDP/GEF said that the project will improve local living conditions and Human Development Indicators (HDIs) through enterprise development skills of the communities.

Mr Fida Hussain, Deputy Secretary, Planning and Development, Northern Areas appreciated the project and said that the government will provide every opportunity to improve the lives of the people.

Mr Al-Nashir Jamal, Chief Executive Officer, Aga Khan Foundation (Pakistan) thanked the government and the donors of this project for their support.

Mr Asif Merchant, Chief Executive Officer, Aga Khan Planning and Building Service, Pakistan said that the project will build upon the previous and ongoing research and development work under the Building and Construction Improvement Program (BACIP) of AKPBS, P.

During the workshop Dr Qayyum Noorani, Mr Faisal Farooq Khan, Dr Ejaz Ahmed, Ms Nahida Aziz and others also spoke about the project.
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PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2009 2:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AKPBS’ program declared winner of Dubai International Award for Best Practices
May 14, 2009
Posted by ismailimail in Asia, Pakistan, Planning and Building Services.
12 May 2009 – The Nation

KARACHI: Water and Sanitation Extension Programme (WASEP), an initiative of Agha Khan Planning and Building Service Pakistan (AKPBSP), was declared as one of the 12 winners of the Dubai International Award for Best Practices (DIABP). This is the first ever social project from Pakistan to receive this prestigious award in the 14 years history of DIABP. The award is sponsored by the Dubai Municipality, under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the current ruler of Dubai, in partnership with UN-Habitat.

WASEP was selected from a list of nearly 500 international submissions by the Award’s Technical Advisory Committee. With an objective to supply integrated water supply infrastructure and preventing the incidence of water-related diseases, WASEP has provided potable water and installed over 9,200 latrines in 250 villages, benefiting over 200,000 people across the country.

According to World Health Organisation (WHO), WASEP has reduced incidences of diarrhoea reported in local health centres by at least 25 per cent, while at the household level the reduction has been approximately 60 per cent. In his address to the audience, Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Minister of Finance and Chairman Dubai Municipality, said that the award reflects the policy and commitment of Dubai government and the United Arab Emirates towards sustainable development of the human settlements and protection of the environment on the basis of mutual international cooperation.

“The award seeks to encourage and recognise outstanding human achievements and experiences, to raise awareness on best practices that can improve lives of the marginalised people, and transfer them to other societies. This award also provides an opportunity to all government organisations, the private sector, local authorities and civil society organisations to take part and present pioneering works and projects in this field”, said Eng Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director General of Dubai Municipality.

In Pakistan, like many countries of the developing world, inadequate quality and coverage of water and sanitation infrastructure is a major issue and is duly reflected in that fact that nearly 30 per cent of reported illnesses and 40 per cent of deaths in Pakistan are attributed to water-borne diseases.

For AKPBSP’s WASEP, the award was received by Shukur Perver, a beneficiary of the Water and Sanitation Program in Gilgit and Hafiz Sherali, AKPBSP’s chairman.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 3:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

20 social, welfare associations join

Monday, June 08, 2009
By News Desk

RAWALPINDI: Some 20 social and welfare organisations have announced to join the “Pukaar Alliance” working under the aegis of Mir Khalil-ur-Rahman Foundation (MKRF) to help alleviate the sufferings of more than three million IDPs in the NWFP.

The announcement came in a programme arranged by the MKRF where these organisations expressed pledges to do their best to lessen the difficulties of the internally migrated Pakistanis.

It was also decided that all these organisations would keep close contact among them and exchange their experiences to improve the relief activities. These organisations include Aga Khan Foundation, Children Global Network, Fresh Water Network, Inter News Pakistan, Khwiando Kor, Muslim Hands, NARC, Omar Asghar Khan Development Foundation, Oxfam, Patan, Plan Pakistan, Potohar Organisation Development Advocacy, SOP, Swabi Women Welfare, NRSP, World Population Foundation, Civil Societies Islamabad, Sangi and others.

Earlier, Nadeem Iqbal, Executive Director MKRF, highlighted the aims and objectives of the Pukaar Alliance. He said the IDPs were our brethren and their care was our basic responsibility. He said the patronage and support to such people was impossible for any single organisation so we have invited all other social welfare organisations on the Pukaar platform to join hands in relief activities.

He said that many business organisations, industrial units and personalities, while contacting the MKRF, have assured their complete financial support and for providing relief goods for the purpose.

Nadeem Iqbal said the MKRF would take benefits of the expertise of other organisations as it wanted to coordinate the sources and experiences in this regard. He proposed that a common website would be launched and a conference of representatives of donors and other social organisations would be convened to decide the line of action to support the Malakand victims.

Fayyaz Baqir, a social leader, also stressed the need for an effective network to help the two to three million IDPs. He urged the need for both short-term and long-term planning and said after the exchange of mutual information and experiences they would be able to provide better service to the IDPs.

Dr Ihsan of the Aga Khan Foundation offered his Foundation’s full cooperation in the health sector while Mubashar Akram, Adviser to the Canadian Embassy, also announced complete cooperation in the relief activities to be done at the Pukaar Alliance platform.

Syed Zia Noor of the Muslim Hands expressed concern over health and educational loss of children at the relief camps.

Mehnaz Akbar Aziz of the Children Global Network proposed to involve cooperative departments in the relief activities. Javid Akhtar of the Swabi Women Welfare pointed out the need to register the victims and arrange their record.

Sheikh Asad of Sangi, Dr Iftikhar of NARC, Ali Asghar Khan of the Omar Asghar Khan Foundation, Naila Zahi of the Civil Societies, Fauzia Minalla and representatives of some other organisations also addressed on the occasion.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 3:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Microsoft, Aga Khan Foundation to establish technology centres

KARACHI (June 14 2009): The Microsoft and the Aga Khan Foundation in Pakistan have inked an agreement to establish the country's first pilot Community Technology Learning Centres in the remote northern areas of Gilgit and Hunza. A statement on Saturday said that by expanding ICT access and training resources to those rural areas, those centres would offer local residents new social and economic opportunities.

It said that joined at the signing ceremony were Al-Nashir Jamal, CEO of the Aga Khan Foundation in Pakistan, Kamal Ahmed, Country General Manager of Microsoft Pakistan. The statement said the pilot project would help build a knowledge economy for Pakistan. This could help foster social and economic opportunities that change people's lives and transform communities, it added.

Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2009

Microsoft, Aga Khan to launch tech centres

ISLAMABAD: Microsoft and the Aga Khan Foundation in Pakistan inked an agreement to establish the country's first pilot Community Technology Learning Centres in the remote northern areas of Gilgit and Hunza. By expanding ICT access and training resources to these rural areas, these centres will offer local residents new social and economic opportunities. Joined on Monday's signing ceremony by CEO of the Aga Khan Foundation in Pakistan Al-Nashir Jamal, Country General Manager of Microsoft Pakistan, Kamal Ahmed remarked, "We are thrilled to collaborate with the Aga Khan Foundation in Pakistan on a pilot project that will build a knowledge economy for Pakistan." staff report
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 2:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Opinion leaders urged to help eradicate TB from N.As

By Our Correspondent

HUNZA, June 15: Speakers at an orientation session for community leaders called upon them to play their role in creating awareness for eradication of tuberculosis (TB) from the farflung areas of Gilgit-Baltistan region.

The session was part of a workshop organised by the Aga Khan Health Service, Pakistan (AKHSP) in Gulmit, under the TB Round-6 Programme. About 60 opinion leaders, elected members, religious leaders, line departments’ officials and community activists participated in the session.

The speakers showed great concern over the rapid spread of the deadly disease that claims nearly 70,000 lives in Pakistan every year. They said that WHO had declared global emergency to combat this disease and the Pakistani government was making all out efforts to eradicate this menace.

They said that about 7,197 TB cases were registered in Gilgit district during last fifteen years. The experts stressed the need to change the community perception regarding this infectious disease as it was preventable and curable.

The AKHSP officials said that the organisation had designed various programmes to sensitise the people of GilgitBaltistan.

In this regard capacity building trainings, orientation and awareness sessions were already organised for community leaders, journalists, health practitioners and other key stakeholders in five different districts of Gilgit-Baltistan region.

Health experts shared specific causes and symptoms of TB with the participants and stressed on the patients and their relatives to be serious against this disease and get proper treatment at the early stage. They said one patient could infect about 15 healthy persons with TB in a year.

They stressed the need to change the designs of the traditional houses which provided a conducive environment for the virus to grow. The participants also shared their experiences regarding the disease and forwarded recommendations to effectively overcome the disease.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 3:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

40 more guards to guard Lahore Fort

“We have planned a number of projects to improve the beauty of the great historical monument and Agha Khan Foundation is also providing technical assistance in various renovation-projects,” he added.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2009 6:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unveiling of HRDN & Research on Attributes of Star Performers

Yesterday I have attended an event named “Unveiling of Human Resource Development Network (HRDN) & Research on Attributes of Star Performers” arranged by HRDN Network in association with FCG Human Capital with sponsorship of Aga Khan Foundation, Pakistan. The event was held at Karachi Marriot Hotel from 3:00 PM to 7.00 PM. The main addressees were HR officers/Mangers/Senior Managers from different sectors. More than 100 people had attened this event.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 3:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excel Math Camp titled “Discovering the Joys of Math” concludes

ISLAMABAD, Jul 10 (APP): The concluding ceremony was held here at National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences (FAST) on the sixth and final day of the Excel Math Camp titled “Discovering the Joys of Math”. The Camp was held jointly by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), American Institute of Research (AIR), Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) Children’s Global Network (CGN), and the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE).

The six-day camp was attended by 100 students (50 boys and 50 girls).

The children selected to attend the camps were nominated by heads of FDE schools from Tarnol, Sihala, Bhara Kau, Nilore and Urban sectors of the Islamabad Capital Territory.

“Six days ago, on our first day at the camp, we were horrified at the prospect of studying math during our holidays and for the whole week! Little did we know that it would be an incredible experience that 1 wish did not have to end” said Abdul Wahab, a student of Grade 6 on behalf of his fellow participants.

Rubina, another young participant, expressed her excitement at being a part, of the camps saying “The camp had a really friendly environment, talking to the teachers was like teaming from a friend.

1 think the camp should have been at least two weeks long,”

Prof. Muhammad Rafique Tahir, Director Colleges and Trainings, FDE, was the Chief Guest on the occasion while other guests comprised Mehnaz Aziz Chief Executive. CGN-P, Component Manager Math Jan Madad and his team, Area Education Officers (AEOs), and students and teachers of FDE schools.

The ceremony witnessed colorful math related skits livened by enthusiastic performances by participating students illustrating the skills they learnt during the six-day span of camp.

The camp provided students with a unique opportunity to learn math through experiments, activities and logical reasoning while illustrating its relevance to everyday life. The students visited the Offices of Islamabad Traffic Police and also had the opportunity to meet distinguished mathematicians Dr. Khalid Noon Dr Mohammad Tahir and Salim Ullah during the course of the camp.

Prof. Rafique Tahir articulated the usefulness of the camp for the students and the unique interactive teaching and learning methodologies used to explain complex mathematical concepts, ‘This initiative is an overwhelming success”, he said.

The Ministry of Education intends lo request extension in the duration of the upcoming Science and Language summer camps”, the professor added.

Prof. Rafique Tahir, Jan Madad and Mehnaz Aziz jointly awarded certificates to participating students and facilitators of the Math Camp.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 2:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Project launched for reducing infant, maternal mortality rates

Thursday, August 06, 2009
By By our correspondent

HYDERABAD: With an objective to bring down the infant and maternal mortality rates in Tando Allahyar, a public-private partnership project between the GAVI alliance, the Government of Pakistan and the Aga Khan Health Services Pakistan was launched at a local hotel.

The project will address the gap identified in the National Maternal and Child Health Programme (2005-2011), where lack of appropriate referral support from the health systems has been identified as one of the major implementation challenges.

“Through this project, the AKHS-P aims to empower small civil society organisations and communities in Tando Allahyar district to play an effective role in demanding and supporting quality care, preventive health and health promotion outreach services,” said Dr Rashida Ahmed, chairperson of AKHS-P in her opening remarks.

She said the project was expected to contribute to government’s efforts towards achieving the health indicators committed in the Millennium Development Goal by 2015. Chief guest Dr Abdul Sattar Korai, Director General Health Services, Sindh, said the project was aimed at reforming the healthcare system of the district by strengthening the service delivery system and enhancing behavioural change.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 3:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[News] Approval for Establishment of Medical College in Gilgit-Baltistan has been finalized
By:Ali (Gilgit)

Aga Khan Health Services, Pakistan, is collaborating with the Department of Health (Govt.) to establish a Medical College in Gilgit-Baltistan which will house 100 beds. In this regard a high level delegation of Aga Khan Foundation, Geneva, had a meeting with chief secretary, and secretary health where they were assured full support by the government, for the establishment of the said medical college. According to the sources of the Department of Health, The District Headquarters Hospitals, Aga Khan Health Services and CMH are affiliated with Pakistan Medical and Dental Council, which could provide students the facilities of house job. The required documentation has been completed in this regard and it is expected that the actions required would be taken on fast track. These initiatives have been praised and appreciated by the citizens of Gilgit-Baltistan.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2009 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreement reached between AKF,P, MoH for Midwives’ training
By Muhammad Asif Qureshi

Islamabad—The Aga Khan Foundation, Pakistan (AKF, P) has reached an agreement with the National Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health Programme (MNCH), Ministry of Health to provide training and financial support to Community Midwives (CMWs) in district Chitral.

A ‘Letter of Understanding’ (LoU) signing ceremony was held today at the Federal Ministry of Health, Islamabad. Dr Zahid Larik, National Programme Manager, MNCH and Dr Qayyum Noorani, Programme Manager Health, AKF (P) signed the LoU in the presence of Dr. Azam Saleem, Joint Secretary, Planning and Development, Ministry of Health.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Azam Saleem said that CMWs can play an important role in decreasing maternal and infant mortality rate at the grassroots level. He said that innovative approaches are needed to enhance community participation in immunization campaigns, running across the country. He appreciated the efforts of AKDN agencies for establishing effective models of community and public partnerships in remote regions to improve health conditions.

Dr Qayyum Noorani said that through this Public-Private Partnership initiative, the AKF (P), in collaboration with the District MNCH programme and Aga Khan Health Service, Pakistan (AKHS, P), will train thirty CMWs under the USAID funded Chitral Child Survival Programme, to provide quality healthcare to the women of Chitral residing in remote villages during pregnancy, childbirth and post-partum period.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 6:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reception for outgoing and incoming AKF CEOs

Friday, January 22, 2010
Ishrat Hyatt


To bid farewell to Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Al-Nashir Jamal and his spouse Tazeem and to welcome his successor Dr. Karim Alibhai, AKF (Pakistan) Chairman Badaruddin Vellani hosted a reception-dinner at the Serena Hotel. The Jamals are a popular and well-liked couple and the fact that so many senior diplomats and members of civil society responded to the invitation was testimony to their popularity.

Welcoming his guests, the host said Nashir had been the CEO for the past five years and during this period the foundation had faced many challenges, which have been admirably handled by Nashir, who brought together a team of professionals to implement the work of the foundation. During this period, the AKF raised and expended over US $100 million from over 20 donors on a wide range of projects. “Nashir has been instrumental in leading our team to think out of the box to develop strategies for multi-input area development and I would like to thank him for his hard work and efforts and wish him and his wife all the best for the future,” he said, “with the hope that they take fond memories of Pakistan and their time with AKF.”

Of the new CEO, he said, Dr. Karim holds a PhD in Waste Water Management and has been a faculty member at the Imperial College, London. He has over 25 years experience in 22 countries in development work and his expertise extends from water and sanitation to public and private infrastructure initiatives; primary health care; environmental engineering; renewable energy; village level planning and sustainable livelihoods programming. Until recently he was CHF’s director for Asia.

Aga Khan Council for Pakistan President Iqbal Walji began his speech by saying he was pleased to be present on the occasion as it was a means to reacquaint friendships. Adding that His Highness the Aga Khan enunciated the objectives of his Golden Jubilee as Imam of the Ismaili Muslims with three objectives, he said his first aspiration was to see poverty replaced by an environment which offered hope; his second to see governments producing ‘enabling environments’ where ‘society can function and grow,’ and the third to see solid institutional building because ‘societies need institutional capacity.’

In today’s time of increasing global complexity, the search for mutual understanding among nations, faiths, and cultures remains essential to assuring peace and stability. The misappropriation of faith for political and ideological purposes has led to a growing polarization among nations, and can only be countered by wisdom, tolerance and compassion. In this geopolitical milieu, his highness’ vision and humanitarian work offer a path towards a better brighter future, as his institution building continues to transform the lives of communities in the developing world. His work, however, should not be seen as philanthropic or humanistic. His highness sees his role and responsibility as Imam to not only interpret the faith, but also improve the quality and security of worldly life for the community.

To this end, the work of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) embraces three major themes — economic development, social development and culture — and operates in 29 countries in both hemispheres.

The Golden Jubilee period has identified two additional priority sectors: ultra-poverty, and the care of the elderly, and approaches to dealing with these issues are being developed. All activities of the AKDN will be informed by the Islamic ethic of care and compassion towards the poor and underprivileged, and will attempt to build bridges across social, political, economic and religious divides, and catalyse new development initiatives to realise the social conscience of Islam, and improve the quality of life of future generations.

“In the end, I would like to say that my pleasure at being here is redoubled by the presence of so many honored guests,” he said. “Thank you for taking the time and being with us at this event, where we will say, not goodbye, but a ‘la prochaine’ to al-Nashir, and welcome to Karim.”
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Corporate sector spends Rs1.87b on social activities

Monday, February 01, 2010
Jamila Achakzai


The public listed companies spent Rs1.87 billion on social activities in the country last year, highlighting the corporate sector’s huge contributions to the social sector development.

According to Pakistan Centre for Philanthropy (PCP) Programme Officer Mansoor Sarwar, the amount is in addition to the tax paid by the companies to the government and has come mostly from oil and gas companies. “These companies, by working in the far-flung and extremely deprived areas, are a key source for providing health facilities, clean water and educational opportunities to the people,” Sarwar told a news briefing here on Sunday. He said more than 500 listed companies were spending billions of rupees on philanthropic activities and social development in the country.

Established in August 2001, the PCP is a non-governmental organisation leading philanthropy promotion in the country.

It mobilises resources from the private sector, especially the corporate sector, for development initiatives, besides supplementing the government’s poverty reduction agenda.

Funding for the PCP operations and programmes comes from the Aga Khan Foundation Pakistan along with individual and corporate philanthropists. Its previous and current donors also include the European Union, USAID and the Rockefeller Foundation.

At the briefing, the PCP programme officer said there was a need for more organisations to come forward and lend a hand to corporate companies enabling them to work more effectively on philanthropy projects in order to achieve desirable results. “The underprivileged and deprived communities of our country need to be supported to access their rights,” he said.

According to Sarwar, the PCP has been providing the corporate sector with such facilitation for the past seven years. He said in light of its experience, the PCP had formulated a policy for joint collaboration between the public and private sector to promote education. “This policy has been adopted and successfully implemented in the country by the government of Pakistan, which is a singular achievement of the PCP,” he said.

Also present on the occasion was Nadir Afridi, a representative from Petronas, a Malaysia based oil and gas company, who said his organisation expends millions of rupees every year in the areas of health, education and social development. “Twelve functional schools, sponsored by Petronas, are providing free education to the children of District Ghotki in Sindh,” he said.

He said a basic health centre (BHU) was also functioning in the district, which was an exclusive source providing health facilities to a large community of the district. He said the Petronas Carigali Pakistan Limited (PCPL), as part of its social development obligation under the Petroleum Concession Agreement (PCA), had embarked upon a long-term Education Sector Programme in collaboration with the PCP, which was implementing a ‘Public Private Partnerships-Facilitating Philanthropy for Education’ Project in Pakistan.

According to Afridi, the project aims at creating linkages between the state run primary, elementary and secondary education outlets (in Taluka Khangarh in District Ghotki), the PCPL and the PCP. He said the Petronas’ social investment was supplementing the government’s district education programme by providing additional resources including physical infrastructure, learning/school materials and additional teachers and monitor to improve the quality of education.

On the occasion, Tariq Sohail from Fauji Fertilisers said during times of emergency, his company had played a positive role. He said that the FFC spent Rs42 million in 2008 in the area of community development activities. He said apart from the amount incurred on health, education and agricultural development, a large portion of Rs42 million was used for the rehabilitation of the people displaced from restive Swat and Waziristan areas. He said the FFC with the PCP’s support could improve the standard of their work in social development substantially.
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