Projects underway to provide economic integration in SAARC region

by Wadsam | November 22, 2016 2:33 am

SAARC Development Fund (SDF) and UNDP have agreed to collaborate in order to implement the following projects in the SAARC Region:

  1. Project title: Economic Empowerment of Women through Energy Access in Mountain Countries of South Asia​

The objective of this project is to empower women in the mountainous regions of South Asia (specifically in Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Pakistan) through access to sustainable energy services to contribute towards achieving the goals of economic empowerment of women while simultaneously targeting better health, and gender equality.

Clean energy services for electrical, thermal and mechanical applications will catalyze livelihood activities to reduce poverty and improve quality of life among women, and thus empowering them economically. The project’s focus is to go beyond providing access to sustainable, reliable and affordable modern energy services for cooking, heating, illumination, and mechanical power for water pumping, and

SDF has committed USD 3,101,763.00 for 50% of the total budget of USD 6,203,525.00 in the form of financial co-funding. The project is aimed to target 11,840 households, 50 women entrepreneurs & 500 community members as direct beneficiaries and 121,317 persons & 150 women entrepreneurs as indirect beneficiaries.

The project is expected to contribute to the following impacts:

  1. Project title: Support to Value Chain development, Entrepreneurship and Skill Development and Improved Connectivity

This is a unique and innovative project which adopts a regional approach to enhance economic opportunities for MSMEs through value chain development, entrepreneurship & skill building in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. In and across six SAARC Member Countries UNDP country offices will work together closely on removing bottlenecks and barriers for vulnerable population to increase their access to social protection, financial inclusion, enterprise development and skill building. More specifically, the project will aim to achieve the following:

  1. Enhance capacity of vulnerable communities specifically economically and socially marginalized groups in the region to enable them to benefit from increased trade and economic activities;
  2. Develop core economic niches in specific regions of SAARC countries through
  3. Development of value chains for products, goods and services among SAARC Countries;
  4. Providing customized training on entrepreneurship, skill development, export facilitation to MSME in the region;

SDF has committed USD 7,835,000.00 for 50% of the total budget of USD 15,670,000.00 in the form of financial co-funding. The project is aimed to target 163,400 persons as direct beneficiaries in the components of social protection, financial inclusion, SME export capacity strengthening and market improvement (under social and economic program) and at least 0.5 million people as the indirect beneficiaries.

The project will assist to implement the Sustainable Development Goals and achieve the following targets

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