United Kingdom International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell arrives in Pakistan
Islamabad: He said “I am delighted to be in Pakistan again for the sixth time in two years. The UK and Pakistan have a warm and enduring bond, tied together by family, friendship, trade, history, and culture”. Andrew Mitchell Andrew Mitchell, Secretary of State for the UK’s Department for International Development, today arrived in Pakistan where he met with President Zardari, Prime Minister Gilani, and Finance Minister Sheikh, with whom he discussed the continued UK cooperation with Pakistan, including the close partnership to support millions of children in school.
Andrew Mitchell, Secretary of State for the UK’s Department for International Development, said:
“I am delighted to be in Pakistan again for the sixth time in two years. The UK and Pakistan have a warm and enduring bond, tied together by family, friendship, trade, history, and culture.
“The UK has worked closely in partnership with Pakistan over the last year to deliver strong results, including: supporting nearly half a million children in school; providing practical job training to more than 1,100 poor people in Punjab; providing microfinance loans to more than one hundred thousand people across Pakistan so they can start small businesses and lift their families out of poverty; and helping millions of people affected by the floods in 2010 and 2011
Education is the single most important factor that can transform Pakistan’s future. That’s why education is the UK’s top priority and why we’ll continue to work with Pakistan to support some four million children in school by 2015.
“The UK government is also working with Pakistan to empower and protect women and girls, to end violence against them and to help harness their talent and productivity. I welcome the legislation passed by Pakistan’s parliament last week banning domestic violence, and congratulate Pakistan on its first Oscar for an outstanding film which throws the international spotlight on the horrific crime of acid attacks on women.
“Finally, the UK looks forward to the strengthening of democracy and civilian institutions through the forthcoming elections. It will be a momentous occasion when Pakistan makes this democratic transition of power between successive civilian governments . Deepening accountability is essential to address the needs of poor people and the many challenges Pakistan faces.
“I have had warm and positive talks today, which reinforce the UK and Pakistan’s firm friendship. I look forward to continuing to work closely together as partners for the long term, to help millions of people in Pakistan to lift them out of poverty, and to further cement our unbreakable bond of friendship and cooperation.”
The UK’s top priority in Pakistan is education. Over the next four years the UK will work in partnership with Pakistan to:
support four million children in school;
recruit and train 90,000 new teachers;
provide more than six million text book sets; and
construct or rebuild more than 43,000 classrooms.
Other priorities for the UK include working in partnership with Pakistan to:
Prevent 3,600 mothers dying in childbirth;
Enable 500,000 couples to choose when and how many children they have;
Provide practical job training (such as car mechanics, cooks, weavers, carpenters, etc) to tens of thousands of people living in poverty; and
Enable millions of people, half of them women, to access financial services such as microfinance loans so they can earn more money and lift their families out of poverty.
The UK’s aid to Pakistan could potentially more than double, to become the UK’s largest recipient of aid. However this increase in UK aid is dependent on securing value for money and results, and linked to the Government of Pakistan’s own progress on reform at both the federal and provincial levels. This includes taking steps to build a more dynamic economy, strengthen the country’s tax base and tackle corruption.
For more information, contact:
British High Commission
Tel: +9251 201 2000
Cell: +92300 500 5306