U.S. Consul General Brian Heath visited the Balochistan Assembly to engage in dialogue and discuss U.S. assistance programs. Balochistan Assembly Speaker Jan Muhammad Jamali hosted the U.S. Consulate General Karachi delegation, which included representatives from its Political and Economic Section. Later, Mr. Heath visited the Assembly’s Library and Resource Center, both of which were funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
“I am very excited to be in Balochistan,” said Mr. Heath, “and I am even more excited to learn more about the province and its people and explain how the United States is supporting numerous initiatives aimed at improving educational, health, and income opportunities in the province.”
USAID, said Mr. Heath, is assisting farmers in more than 700 communities in eight districts of Balochistan along the Afghan border in order to increase crop and livestock yields, level land, and plant orchards. The project, he said, has also established 38 farmers marketing cooperatives. USAID is also increasing incomes of 2,000 home-based women fabric workers in the Pishin District by integrating them with markets for their goods. “All of this means more money for Baloch families,” he stressed.
Health and well-being are important initiatives as well. USAID’s Mercy Corps is strengthening midwife capabilities in Quetta, Gawardar and Kech to protect women’s and children’s health. “Healthier families are happier and wealthier families,” said U.S. Consul General Heath.
Mr. Heath also pointed to USAID’s broad array of educational support, including scholarships for agricultural and business administration students at the Balochistan University of Technology, Engineering and Management Sciences in Quetta and upgrades of laboratory equipment and teaching materials at Sardar Bahadur Khan Women’s University in Quetta and Lasbela University of Agriculture, Water and Marine Sciences in Uthal.
Finally, USAID is assisting Balochistan build the facilities it needs to ensure economic productivity and a higher standard of living. This includes spending $6 million to reconstruct 15 schools in flood-damaged areas in Jaffarabad and Naseerabad Districts.