US assistance helps double incomes of 22,000 affected dairy farmers

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With US assistance more than 22,000 flood-affected dairy farmers throughout Pakistan doubled their incomes since May 2010.

These and other results of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) Entrepreneurs Programme were discussed at a conference held here on Thursday for Pakistani entrepreneurs affected by natural disasters.

In a country hit by natural disasters that leave millions of people homeless, destroy crops and devastate livestock, sustaining a business can be a huge challenge. Today's "Livelihood Recovery Support Conference" is specifically designed to address this challenge by bringing together entrepreneurs, government officials, academia and the media so they could share their experiences dealing with disasters and discuss best practices for responding to them and rebuilding their businesses. "Under normal conditions, Pakistan's entrepreneurs face challenges on many fronts. These issues are compounded by Pakistan's particular susceptibility to natural disasters," said Ms Catherine Moore, Deputy Mission Director, USAID Pakistan on the occasion. "We are delighted that $4 million of US support has successfully revitalised economic growth in disaster-affected regions and enabled resilient Pakistani entrepreneurs to recover and rebuild their businesses."

A recent impact assessment of USAID's rehabilitation programme found that, since May 2010, more than 22,500 dairy farmers increased their incomes by more than 200 percent as a result of receiving US government flood-related assistance. "I would like to thank the US government for their prompt response to our urgent need and for bringing tears of joy and hope to thousands of conflict and flood-affected families as they struggled to stand on their feet once again," said Dr Zafar Iqbal Qadir, Chairman of the National Disaster Management Authority.

This initiative is just one part of a comprehensive US economic assistance programme, which creates jobs and boosts incomes with projects that expand Pakistan's agricultural output, build roads to facilitate trade and offer a private equity fund to help small- and medium-size businesses grow.

Courtesy: Business Recorder

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