USAID attaches great importance to women empowerment


The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in all development projects in Pakistan has focused on women participation including women entrepreneurships, enrolment of girls to schools, medical facilities and many more.

USAID Pakistan Mission Director John Groake said no country could achieve sustainable economic development until women fully took part in every economic sector.

He expressed his desire to become partner of China in energy projects in Pakistan to bring stability and prosperity, saying, “If China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) proceeds according to plan, we support the corridor.”

He said that Pakistan would benefit from the corridor and the USAID had possibility of investing in the energy sector if it moved to the right direction.

He said that top priority of the US was to invest in the energy sector and rehabilitation of victims during military operations, floods and earthquake.

He said Pakistan’s power sector was moving on the right track and the power distribution companies were making additional revenue due to improvement.

He stressed that power consumers should pay full cost of electricity, and said, “Privatisation is best solution for viable energy sector.” He added that the US government was committed to help Pakistan enhance power generation.

Responding to a question, Groake said that the US had already invested on technical, financial and environmental feasibilities of the Diamer Bhasha Dam project.

“I understand its cost will be $14 billion and bulk of funding is going to come primarily from private sector and multilateral donors like Asian Development Bank (ADB),” he said, adding that the US would not be a significant donor. About the financing for coal-based power plants in Pakistan, he said the US had a policy not to invest in coal-based power projects.

“Our policy is to invest in renewable energy like solar and more effective energy conservation,” he added.

The Pakistani government, he said, wanted to increase tax revenue collection and “we fully support it”.

He said Prime Minister Shairf had announced to raise investment in the education sector to four per cent of the GDP which reflected priority of the government in the education sector. He further said, “We have also provided scholarships to 7,000 students in Pakistani schools.”

The US is one of the first countries to extend a considerable assistance for development projects such as the institute for Business Administration, Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center, and Faisalabad Agricultural Institute. The US was also a major donor to the Mangla and Tarbela dams that soon accounted for 70 per cent of the country’s power output.