USAID helped to restore 128 MWs of generation capacity at Tarbela

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ISLAMABAD: In a roundup of the US assistance activities during the month of March for Pakistan, the US mission has issued a brief fact sheet on Tuesday. It encompasses five major spheres of cooperation including initiatives in energy, economic growth, community development, education, and health. The missionís release said that during a visit to the Tarbela Dam and Power Station in early March US Ambassador Richard Olson joined the chairman Wapda to mark the completion of the USAID-funded renovations of the power station. Under this $16.5 million effort, USAID renovated three generator units and restored 128 megawatts of generation capacity ó enough to provide electricity to 300,000 homes.

It said that with support from USAID, the Government of KPK, and the KP Tourism Corporation, 251 hotels and fisheries previously damaged by conflicts and floods have increased their revenues from $454,000 in 2010 to $4.2 million in 2012. They have also generated more than 2,000 new jobs. The USAID provided $5.4 million in grants, technical assistance, and in-kind support to these businesses from 2010 to 2012.

While dilating upon the reduction in Customs delay, the release said that to support the 2010 Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement, USAID installed computer equipment, power supply, and Internet connectivity at the customs stations in Torkham, Baleli, Khairabad, Chaman, and Port Qasim, as well as at the Customs House and East and West wharfs in Karachi. These upgrades will reduce delays in the clearance of goods; curtail unauthorised trade practices, and lower trade costs along the Afghan transit corridor.

The USAID provided two tractor-towed mechanical sweepers and three garbage compactors to the Peshawar Municipal Corporation to facilitate waste management in the densely populated Town 1 area of Peshawar. The programme has already helped clean 30 kilometers of drains.

The release said that the USAID began construction of five eco-friendly, energy-efficient buildings to house new faculties of education at leading universities in Punjab and Sindh. The new facilities for teacher training will be equipped with digital libraries, science laboratories, and a media center, with wireless internet access available throughout each building. When completed, the facilities will have the capacity to train thousands of new teachers and meet our joint U.S.-Pakistan goal of improving the quality of teaching through new degree programmes, changes in recruitment policies, and a more qualified university faculty.

Construction began in Sindh at Karachi University, Sindh University, and Shah Abdul Latif University. In Punjab, construction began at the University of Punjab and the University of Education, Lahore.

The USAID and the Marie Stopes Society trained 40 field health educators who visit some of the poorest communities in Sindh and Punjab to educate men and women on health issues, and to refer women to local health facilities. USAID covers the cost of services for the most needy.

Courtesy: The News

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