In June 1994 the Honourable Andre Ouellet, Minister of Foreign Affairs, approved a $25 million contribution to AKFC over an eight year period for the Pakistan Social Institutions' Development Program (SIDP). AKFC will contribute financially as well as in kind to this program.
The SIDP is the result of three and a half years of work by AKFC, colleagues in Karachi and Geneva, and CIDA. In 1990/1991, AKFC requested funding for a portfolio of projects addressing health and education needs in Pakistan. CIDA responded favourable, but asked AKFC to consider combining funding for these projects with an umbrella mechanism to fund activities to strengthen institutional capacity in Pakistan.
In summer 1992, a joint CIDA/AKFC Feasibility/Design Mission concluded that such a program was feasible, and had the potential to contribute significantly to developing the capacity of social institutions in Pakistan. The selection of AKFC as a partner organisation for SIDP was announced by then Minister for External Relations and International Development, the Honourable Monique Landry, during Mawlana Hazar Imam's visit to Canada in August 1992. This announcement coincided with the signing of the Accord of Co-operation between the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) and the Government of Canada.
SIDP is a long-term (10-15 year) initiative to build the capacity of Independent Sector organisations and institutions both within and outside the AKDN in Pakistan. AKF, through this program, will help them to deliver effective, sustainable social sector programming, to analyze and learn from field experiences, to effectively shared these lessons with others and develop linkages between Canada and Pakistan. Fostering a continuum of learning, from the practical project level, through research and analysis, to the policy makers, will contribute to a more supportive, enabling environment for social development in Pakistan. SIDP focuses on three areas of the Social Sector which are priorities of the Government of Pakistan, CIDA, and AKF: education, community-oriented health care, and community development, with particular emphasis on the strategic interests of women. Projects being considered for funding include AKU's Institute for Educational Development, the Field-based Teacher's Development Programme and NGO Resource Centre of AKF (Pakistan).
Minister of Foreign Affairs praises AKFC
Earlier this year, the Honourable Andre Ouellet, Canada's Minister of Foreign affairs, wrote to CEO Nazeer Ladhani, about AKFC's work:
"... I appreciate the impressive work done by the Aga Khan Foundation both in Canada and abroad. Your active network of volunteers and donors is a very important component of the Canadian public which is committed to supporting and strengthening Canada's role in development. it is critical that the Canadian public participate in Canada's ODA (Overseas Development Assistance) program and it is through NGO's such as your that many Canadians are able to become involved.
The Foundation's focus on basic health care, education, rural development and development education is directed at many of the challenging and critical global issues that CIDA is trying to address. The Accord of Co-operation between the Government of Canada and the Aga Khan Development is a tangible example of our mutual objectives..."
(Source: Ismaili Canada July '94)
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