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USAID’s Local-Led Initiative Revolutionizes Education and Health in Buner and Upper Dir Districts

ISLAMABAD: USAID’s Locally-Led Development in Education and Health has brought about transformative changes in Buner and Upper Dir Districts, as highlighted during a celebratory event in Islamabad on May 8, 2024. With the conclusion of the $10 million Human Development Activity, USAID, alongside government officials, local and international partners, and community representatives, marked the culmination of four years of dedicated efforts.

Throughout the project’s duration, local communities and organizations were empowered to drive sustainable development outcomes in health and education. Collaborating closely with the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government, the project extended grants to Pakistani organizations to implement various interventions. These included establishing accelerated learning program centers and enhancing the functionality of the Primary Care Health Committee, now inclusive of women members.

The pivotal support of KP’s provincial departments of Education, Health, and Population Welfare was acknowledged during the event. Their active involvement in designing, implementing, and overseeing interventions fostered a deeper alignment with government priorities, addressed implementation hurdles, and facilitated the integration of health and education services.

For their contributions, USAID, the implementing partner Palladium, and local organizations expressed gratitude. Government officials affirmed their commitment to leveraging the project’s insights and experiences, particularly in supporting over 1,000 out-of-school girl students enrolled in 34 accelerated learning program centers in Buner and Upper Dir.

In her closing remarks, USAID/Pakistan Mission Director Kate Somvongsiri commended the collaborative efforts of stakeholders, emphasizing the crucial roles played by women and youth in ensuring inclusivity. She reiterated USAID’s enduring partnership with the Government of Pakistan and its commitment to locally-led, equitable development.

The Human Development Activity leaves behind a legacy of strengthened partnerships, enhanced local capacity, and improved service delivery. Notable achievements include a significant increase in school enrollment, with over 34,000 out-of-school children, primarily girls, now attending formal and non-formal primary schools.

Additionally, over 7,000 public service providers in health and education received training, ensuring the delivery of high-quality services. Maternal and child health messages reached over 700,000 individuals, while voluntary family planning services benefited more than 300,000 women and children.

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