EU, Pakistan sign two key pacts

December 29, 2018

TEHRAN - European Union and Pakistan signed two crucial financing agreements on Friday with aim to provide assistance of €100 million for enhanced education and growth for rural development programs.

EU envoy to Pakistan Jean Francois Cautain signed the agreements with Pakistan government’s economic secretary Noor Ahmed.

The agreements - Development through Enhanced Education Program (DEEP), and Growth for Rural Advancement and Sustainable Progress (GRASP) – are equivalent to Rs. 15,942 million collectively.

Pakistan and European Union have a long history of development cooperation, and the financing agreements were part of the Multiannual Indicative Program (2014-2020) signed between European Union and Pakistan, said a report in The News.

These projects have been designed in collaboration with the government of Pakistan stakeholders. GRASP is a six year program that contributes to the reduction of poverty through development of rural SMEs. It would create gender inclusive employment and income opportunities in the rural areas of Sindh and Balochistan through targeted support to both the public and private sectors, the report noted.

DEEP aims to contribute towards universal access to quality education in Sindh, enabling young people to progress and engage in productive employment or higher/vocational education, it added.

The Pakistani official said the government of Pakistan deeply appreciated the development assistance provided by the European Union. Both sides agreed to deepen their engagement in multiple areas of development cooperation.

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