Pak-German-French cooperation to improve health facilities in FATA

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan, France and Germany on Tuesday signed an agreement to increase the funding for improving health facilities in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). The agreement between the “Agence Franchise de Development” (AFD) and the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) was officially signed at the Governor’s House, Peshawar to provide additional funds for health facilities for FATA Development Programme (FDP) and it has reached to 11. 5 million Euros, said a statemment issued by German Embassy here today.

As KPK Governor  Barrister Syed Masood Kausar received the French and German Ambassadors to Pakistan, Daniel Jouanneau and Dr. Michael Koch, representatives from partner organizations and stakeholders in Peshawar, he pointed out that presently “capacities and institutional framework for services provided by the government in health, education and livelihood are unsatisfactory.”He was of the view that with additional resources from the French Government, the Directorate Health Services (DHS) of the FATA Secretariat will implement the quality improvement initiative which aimed at enhancing the clinical and managerial skills of health care providers and health managers.

At the ceremony, the Additional Chief Secretary (ACS), Fazal Karim Khattak, highlighted the urgent need to provide qualified healthcare professionals and to offer quality healthcare to the people in the FATA.The French Ambassador to Pakistan, Mr. Jouanneau, said that the agreement makes a strong impact in significantly improving the health system in the FATA and the well-being of the local communities.The German Ambassador, Dr. Koch, highlighted the importance of accountable local governance structures which can ensure the service delivery to the people of the FATA.“The equal provision of social services including health care is essential to further consolidate people’s trust in the Government institutions and to respond to the needs of the population,” he added.

Representatives of AFD and GIZ in Pakistan Nicolas Fornage and Thomas Schaef said co-financing agreement between the two organisations is the first of its kind in Asia.They said the successful cooperation of the German Government funded programme with the FATA Secretariat gives AFD, the opportunity to increase the impact, by supporting the health component of the FDP with additional funding.It also allows France to reach 73% of its commitments under the FODP “Tokyo Pledge” of April 2009 out of 300 Million Euros of Official Development Aid for Pakistan.

There are currently more than 7,000 healthcare providers (among them 1,300 women) employed in the public sector of the FATA to provide services to the almost 4 million inhabitants.Staff of higher qualification (doctors and nurse-midwives) is part of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) health work force whereas the so-called paramedic staff (medical technicians and Lady Health Visitors among others) is directly employed by the FATA health administration. – APP