Within the framework of the Sustainable Development Festival 2020, the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) Office in Islamabad and the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) organized a zoom Roundtable chaired by the Ambassador of Italy in Pakistan, Andreas Ferrarese, to highlight how the Italy-Pakistan Development Cooperation Programme has worked on remote community development, through a series of initiatives, e.g. PPAF’s Poverty Reduction Programme and the Debt Swap.
The Annual ASVIS Sustainable Development Festival goes from September 22 to October 8. ASVIS has been founded by Prof. Enrico Giovannini, former Labour Minister, SDGs proactive promoter in the Italian Government, and Civil Society. The aim of the Festival is to mobilize societies and institutions in Italy and in partner countries on the urgency of implementing the SDGs identified through the Agenda 2030, signed in 2015 by 193 countries.
The aim of the Roundtable within the Festival was to listen, from PPAF and other key actors of the Italian-financed and co-promoted initiatives with the Pakistani government and its Provinces, which innovative methods were worth to analyse and share for fostering remote communities’ self-development, for a better quality of livelihood. Such an approach being multi-actor, the Roundtable reflected the teamwork imprinted by AICS Islamabad since its relaunching a year ago as the relators were well-balanced between the two countries, and gender-wise. They represented: PPAF as Pakistani Foundation, UNESCO, the Pakistan Italy Debt Swap, the Ministry of Food Security, Universities of both countries (Ca’ Foscari, CUST) and the Italian Archaeological Mission in Swat, the Pakistan Italy Alumni Network, a Research & Development NGO (EvK2CNR), the Chitral Women Handicrafts Center.
Ambassador Ferrarese highlighted that: “Italy and Pakistan continue sharing and update their common vision on poverty reduction and climate change towards prosperity and social change, acting through multi-actor schemes involving the State till remote Civil Society.”
Emanuela Benini, AICS Director Islamabad, said: “It is through the continuity of such Italian-Pakistani approach that we may today articulate our common work, in 3 pillars: NATURE/climate change, CULTURE, OliveCULTURE, with 3 cross-cutting issues: 1-how remote communities may value and foster the resources in/around them, from resilience to well-being, 2- how the nexus research-training-labor can lead to a better quality of life and economic growth, 3-how institutional strengthening is essential to ensure sustainability.”
Qazi Azmat Isa, PPAF CEO by lauding the Italian government’s efforts said: “In order to empower vulnerable communities it is essential to work at the institution level and follow five basic values which are inclusion, participation, accountability, transparency, and stewardship. We implemented the PPR Programme supported by AICS whereby we worked closely with more than 4000 community institutions and built onto their strength to reach the most deserving individuals. It not only enabled us to make a profound impact at the grass-root level but also enhanced our capacity as development providers.”