Islamabad, March 7, 2014
The United States government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), recognizes the bravery and determination of the women of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) who have endured loss, but are determined to resume a normal life for themselves and their families. Through the USAID funded Conflict Victims Support Program, families and child survivors of conflict in KP and FATA receive economic, social, and medical assistance, as well as scholarships. The vast majority of these survivors lost male family members, most often the main breadwinner, to violence and insecurity. It is especially fitting that these brave women are recognized today, International Women’s Day.
USAID Mission Director, Gregory Gottlieb, recognizes the bravery and determination of these women and celebrates their successes. These women, through the USAID Conflict Support Program, receive vocational training to improve their income earning ability thereby enabling them to provide financial support for their families after losing male family members. The scholarships provided to children enable them to continue their education.
“We suffered an emotional and financial blow, and I had to quit school when my father died in a bomb blast four years ago,” said Laiqa, a 13-year old girl. “The USAID scholarship enabled me to resume my education. I would like to become a doctor to help others.” Laiqa’s mother operates a small grocery store, made possible by a grant provided by USAID.
“I am grateful to USAID for helping me to support my family after losing my husband,” said Nafeesa, who started a beauty parlor with financial support from USAID. “I recently was able to expand my business by adding a garment store.”
“Women play an integral part in the development of a society, and I am sure that you will leave a legacy of hard work and bravery that your children will be proud of. The people of the United States will continue promoting stability and prosperity throughout the FATA region and KP Province,” said USAID Mission Director Gottlieb.
USAID’s three-year, $25 million Conflict Victims Support Program is part of the comprehensive U.S. assistance program in Pakistan, which helps ensure increased opportunity for women’s participation in the labor force; the expansion of girls’ access to quality basic education; improvement in maternal and child health; and the promotion of women’s political, economic, and social rights. To date, 6,800 Pakistani families have benefitted from this program. The Conflict Victims Support Program has also improved the emergency response capabilities of six hospitals and trained 1,095 community members and medics to better respond to mass emergencies.