SAARC Development Fund held it 31st board meeting in Colombo, Sri Lanka 23-24 August taking decisions on key issues to further promote regional integration and economic cooperation among its eight member states.
Two projects -Consortium for scaling up climate smart agriculture in South Asia and second phase of ‘Inter- professional Master’s Programme in Rehabilitation Science’ were approved, said a press release issued here earlier.
With International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) and through SDF’s funding, the ‘Consortium for scaling up climate smart agriculture in South Asia’ project will promote sustainable and resilient agricultural intensification in Afghanistan, Bhutan, Pakistan and Sri Lanka through enhanced Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) capacity and technologies.
The project will be implemented by National Agricultural Research and Extension Systems (NARES) and SAARC Agricultural Centre (SAC).
CEO of SAARC Development Fund Sunil Motiwal said, ‘This project worth USD 3.32 million will directly benefit over 7,500 smallholder farmers as well as researchers, extension workers, and policy makers in Afghanistan, Bhutan, Pakistan and Sri Lanka’, added the release.
‘Impacts of climate change are felt across South Asia and we believe that there is a need to enhance adaptive capacity of smallholder farmers,’ he added.
The second project approved by the board named ‘Second phase of Inter- professional Master’s Programme in Rehabilitation Science’ for USD 1.5 million’ will develop highly qualified professionals in the area of Rehabilitation Science, said the release.
This will enable the provision of quality rehabilitation policies and services to people with disability in all the eight SAARC member states.
The masters programme is offered at the Bangladesh Health Professions Institute (BHPI), Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRP).
Through this project, there will be 150 direct beneficiaries and 234,432 patients or the disabled or people with chronic health conditions per year as ultimate beneficiaries.
The SAARC Development Fund, since its inception in April 2010 by heads of the eight SAARC member states, is mandated to build regional integration and economic cooperation through project funding in all the SAARC member states – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Currently SDF is implementing 80 projects under its Social Window funding scheme worth USD 197.4 million.
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