Women’s technical centre inauguratedPakistan
QUETTA: The United Nations refugee agency UNHCR’s Assistant High Commissioner, George Okoth-Obbo, has stressed the need for concerted efforts by all stakeholders to empower the youths through education and skills development as an essential element of stability and sustainable development.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony of a women’s technical training centre in Loralai district, he said investing in Pakistani and Afghan youths was important for resilience, stability and future prosperity of both countries.
Mr Okoth-Obbo visited Quetta and Loralai on the outset of his three-day visit to Pakistan.
Under the project, 269 people will be trained annually in certified and internationally recognised ‘G-III’ courses under competency-based curriculums developed by the National Vocational and Technical Training Commission.
Speaking at the ceremony, UNHCR’s Representative in Pakistan Indrika Ratwatte said such projects were vital for building human capital of both countries and exemplified the government’s efforts to meet its commitment to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
He said some 10.6 million people had benefited from about 3,500 projects under the Refugee Affected and Hosting Areas Programme across the country in health, education, infrastructure, livelihood, water and sanitation sectors since 2009. Of those benefitting from the programme, 11 per cent are Afghan refugees and the rest Pakistani citizens in the hosting areas.
Chief Commissioner for Afghan Refugees Dr Imran Zeb said such projects had a vital impact on wellbeing, peaceful coexistence and social cohesion within communities.
Published in Dawn, February 27th, 2016