United Nations World Food Programme provides cash to returnees in South Waziristan Agency in Pakistan

Peshawar, October 13, 2016 (PPI-OT):The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has successfully implemented its first cash-for-work programme for conflict-affected people who have returned to their areas of origin in the South Waziristan Agency (SWA) of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).

Under the programme, people are paid to work on projects that provide livelihood opportunities while helping reduce disaster risks in their communities. In the first phase, WFP is providing approximately PKR 18 million (approx. USD 172,000) to just over 3,000 participants in September and October in SWA.

Similar interventions will follow in other FATA agencies: they allow beneficiaries to buy fresh produce and other necessities, boosting markets and the local economy in the process. The project is made possible thanks to USD 4.2 million from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and GBP 2 million from the UK Department for International Development (DFID) for the FATA Return and Rehabilitation programme.

A total of 44 training courses on disaster risk reduction and vegetable production were organized for 975 participants; 55 km of link roads/paths have been repaved, and the same length of irrigation channels rehabilitated. Overall, 67 physical infrastructure projects have been completed. Beneficiaries were also trained in first aid, fire fighting and other livelihood-enhancing skills. WFP provides PKR 6,000 (approx. USD 75) to each participant for the 15-day work cycle.

“To be able to provide cash assistance in the South Waziristan Agency is a great achievement and is proving instrumental in improving the lives of people in this area. This was only possible through strong local partnerships and the financial support of our donors,” said Bai Mankay Sankoh, Head of the WFP Provincial Office in Peshawar.

WFP has been implementing asset-creation programmes in Pakistan since 2010, but this is the first time such a programme using cash has been implemented in SWA. Given the challenging physical and political situation, WFP worked with its local NGO partner Sarhad Rural Support Programme (SRSP) and the United Bank Limited (UBL) to ensure all infrastructure and systems were in place to implement the programme successfully.

So far, WFP has distributed over 19,000 cash cards to displaced people and returnees in FATA. By the end of 2016, the aim is to exceed 26,000 cards. WFP will continue to support the FATA Secretariat and the Government of Pakistan under its three year country programme (2016-18) by providing cash and food-based assistance to approximately 2.2 million displaced and returnee people from seven agencies in FATA including Khyber, South Waziristan and North Waziristan agencies.

For more information, contact:
Ms. Ishrat Rizvi
National Information Officer
United Nations Information Centre (UNIC)
Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel: +92-51-8355720
Cell: +92-300-8553790
Email: ishrat.rizvi@unic.org