Govt committed to supporting returnees to find better employment prospects,Turi

Islamabad : Overseas Pakistanis Foundation (OPF) held a ceremony where participants, including returning migrants, local population, and vulnerable groups, received toolkits as an In-Kind support to enable them initiate sustained self-employment. This is a part of OPF’s efforts to foster decent working conditions in the country in order to realize its vision of “prosperous human resource, prosperous Pakistan.” OPF is implementing a program a program in collaboration with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in Pakistan. It is commissioned by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation & Development Germany, (BMZ) and is part of BMZ support for voluntary return & sustainable reintegration.
174 participants including women received the toolkits in the fields of culinary arts, Tailoring & fashion designing, Digital tools and e-banking services, Solar PV system, plumbing, electrical, carpentry and, masonry. The participants have already completed comprehensive trainings in their respective fields.
Federal Minister for Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development, Mr. Sajid Hussain Turi was chief guest at the ceremony. Dr. Sebastian Paust, Head of Development cooperation, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany was also present at the occasion. Managing Director OPF, Dr. Amer Sheikh, Mr. Tobias Becker, Country Director GIZ, OPF Board of Governors, senior government officials, representatives of international organizations and civil society representatives also attended the event.
Mr. Sajid Hussain Turi, Federal Minister for Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development said that Government of Pakistan in committed to support returnees and the local population to find better employment prospects and income sources. He applauded OPF and GIZ for their work on this flagship programme .
A Pakistani-German Facilitation & Reintegration Centre (PGFRC), the major component of this programme, has been established in OPF premises, Lahore. The program also has an advisory desk at OPF head office Islamabad. PGFRC is supporting and assisting returning migrants and the local population with their social and economic reintegration. Head of PGFRC, Dr. Mansoor Zaib Khan shared that “The objective of the programme is to support returning migrants and local population to find better opportunities for better living conditions and sustainable source of income to support themselves and their families. More than 1,000 Pakistani citizens including women will get benefit from this capacity building leading to In-Kind support intervention. I am also pleased to say that PGFRC is open to all Pakistani’s and all our services are free of charge”. Dr. Mansoor also highlighted that under the programme a special intervention for vulnerable groups has been planned, and today the beneficiary of this intervention is also receiving the toolkits in the fields of culinary arts, tailoring and fashion designing and Digital tools & e-banking services. Dr. Mansoor further emphasized that a special intervention for vulnerable groups was developed as part of the programme, and today beneficiaries of this intervention are receiving toolkits in the fields of culinary arts, tailoring and fashion designing, and digital tools & e-banking services.
Dr. Sebastian Paust, Head of Development Cooperation, Embassy of Federal Republic of Germany, highlighted that he is delighted that 174 participants have received the toolkits as In-Kind support, which will play a key role in achieving sustainable self-employment. He also highlighted that PGFRC, with the support of OPF and GIZ has made a substantial effort and achieved a significant goal .
Dr. Amer Sheikh, Managing Director, OPF appraised that collaboration between GIZ and OPF has opened up new opportunities especially for the economic reintegration of returning migrants and the identification of economic opportunities for the local population. The program is supporting in counselling and introduction to employment or entrepreneurship measures. This initiative is assisting in providing self-employment to Pakistani workers, in Pakistan, thus reducing unemployment ratio in the country.
Country Director GIZ, Mr. Tobias Becker said that PGFRC is playing a critical role in fostering self-employment and entrepreneurship. These efforts are resulting in enhancing the capacity of workforce and reducing unemployment rates in Pakistan. Moreover, it not only helps to contribute to the better life and wellness of returning migrants but also to Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals.
The program’s beneficiaries were delighted on this occasion. One woman who received a food cart as In-Kind Support expressed her happiness “We received a comprehensive one-month training in cooking and baking, and now today we have received this modern food cart. I will be opening my own business tomorrow, and I am hopeful for a prosperous future. Another woman participant who received training and In-kind support in digital tools & e-banking services said, “I have learned a lot, how to sell my products online on different platforms on internet and how to utilize electronic banking tools, I am really confident now and looking forward to improving my business,”.