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Accord signed on reintegration of returnees

LAHORE – August 12, 2022

World Wildlife Fund (WWF)-Pakistan and GIZ-Pakistan, under TVET Sector Support Programme, have entered into a partnership to assist the reintegration of returnees to Pakistan by facilitating them and local people in gaining socio-economic sustainability.

The accord was signed at a local hotel, in the presence of representatives from WWF-Pakistan and various stakeholders of the TVET sector, including Punjab Vocational Training Council (PVTC), Punjab Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority (PTEVTA), and Punjab Skills Development Fund (PSDF).

The partnership agreement was signed by WWF-Pakistan Director General Hammad Naqi Khan, and Deputy Head of TVET Sector Support Programme, GIZ Pakistan Raja Saad Khan. “Reintegration of Returnees in Pakistan” supports returnees and local Pakistanis (non-returnees) by offering them quick and effective start-up opportunities, especially in Punjab, as this region is most affected by return migration.

The project will support 15,000 individuals, including 6,500 returnees from Germany and GCC countries. The support measures provided to the returnees and local population, to facilitate their economic reintegration after returning to Pakistan fall under four intervention areas: a) Career and Entrepreneurship Advisory Services, b) Competency-based Training and Assessments, c) Recognition of Prior Learning, and d) Employment Promotion.

In his opening remarks at the event, Raja Saad Khan, Deputy Head of TVET Sector Support Programme/ Team Lead Governance and Policy, expressed his gratitude to WWF-Pakistan. “It is a pleasant sight to see this initiative come to life. TVET Sector thrives on such novel initiatives and joint efforts, and we believe, if we continue our rigorous efforts for the development of the Pakistani people, we will see people in the informal sector become more financially independent and ambitious.” The initial partnership between TVET Sector Support Programme and WWF-Pakistan focuses on promoting entrepreneurship and facilitating self-employment of 200 individuals and 100 households.

These goals will be accomplished in a two-stage process: 1) Capacity building of rural families through provision of trainings in entrepreneurship and business development as well as technical aspects regarding the operational use of apiculture and poultry-rearing kits, and 2) Provision of in-kind support in the form of apiculture and poultry-rearing kits to enable families to earn a decent means of livelihood by becoming self-employed, particularly through honey-bee farming and poultry rearing businesses. Speaking at the ceremony, Hammad Naqi Khan stated that “Honeybees have a pivotal role in sustaining natural and human environments and based on WWF’s experience, apiculture trainings and workshops prove to be a viable offering for deserving communities. Apiculture businesses are known to be a sustainable economic solution for rural families, and we believe there is a big opportunity to support returnees through these solutions.

Through this partnership between WWF-Pakistan and TVET SSP, together, we will be able to provide suitable training and skills development opportunities to returnees as well as the local population.”

Omair Abubakar, National Coordinator Reintegration of Returnees in Pakistan, also emphasised the importance of such partnerships in the success of the reintegration initiative. “Our development sector partners have matchless expertise that prepare us to work on collaborative initiatives and help those in need. Providing apiculture and poultry rearing business solutions seems like an exciting endeavour. We are looking forward to the success of this partnership I believe returnees and locals will benefit from it immensely” he said. “Reintegration of Returnees in Pakistan” is an initiative under the TVET Sector Support Programme which is funded by the European Union, the Federal Republic of Germany, and the Royal Norwegian Embassy. It offers reintegration assistance to Pakistani returnees and Pakistani nationals, particularly young adults, who return to their home country voluntarily. This initiative is commissioned by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in partnership with the National Vocational and Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC).

The story originally appeared in The News

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