Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority completes project implemented with assistance of European Union, United Nations Development Programme

Lahore, December 28, 2012 (PPI-OT): The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) has successfully completed the exclusive project implemented with assistance from EU and UNDP for economic recovery in 29 districts of Pakistan, which were badly effected by the devastating flood in the year 2010.

Mr. Yousaf Naseem Khokhar, Chief Executive Officer of SMEDA, while addressing a ceremony held to celebrate successful closure of the project informed that the project since its start in July 2011 had provided grants worth Rs. 189.9 million to 11,928 individuals and 116 organizations for restoration of their enterprises and livelihoods.

Dr. Nasir Khan Ghauri, General Manager, Business and Sector Development Division and Mr. Khurram Khan, GM, Central Support Division of SMEDA accompanied him on this occasion. The event was attended by a large number of beneficiaries and the participating organizations of the project. CEO SMEDA expressed deep gratitude to the officials of United Nations Development Program for arranging the required amount of funds for this project through European Union.

A presentation run by SMEDA on performance of the project revealed that a grant worth Rs. 30,000 per enterprise was provided to entrepreneurs from the key value chains important for overall economic development of the areas affected by flood.

The businesses engaged in trade of agriculture and livestock inputs, processing of local materials and marketing of produce were given top priority. Grants enabled selected entrepreneurs to stabilize their businesses, and play their due role in supporting local economic activity, providing requisite goods and services. A total of 2,709 enterprises were given grant worth Rs. 81.5 million under SMEDA-ER Project.

Realizing the importance of home based income generating activities, there was a special focus on enterprising females supporting their families. Grant worth Rs. 38 million was disbursed to 3,106 women engaged in micro food processing, micro farming and needle craft. Financial aid has given these females hope and they are confident that they can make a positive contribution to the income generation for their household.

Rs. 43 million of the grant component were dedicated for the segment of the society who cannot help themselves. Widows, elderly, orphans and marginalized individuals were identified on the basis of poverty score and provided with Rs. 7,120 each, creating opportunities for micro investments. More than 6,000 individuals benefited from this grant component.

Disbursement of cash grants of Rs 163 million to around 12,000 people was a big achievement for this project, but for the people who suffered financial and emotional devastation in the worst national disaster of the history of the nation; this is just a drop in the ocean. They are looking forward to additional support and facilitation for a more inclusive economic development.

Local communities of the project locations have been mobilized not only to take active part in identification and execution of economic development interventions, but have also been organized in the form of Community Welfare and Development Organizations (CWDOs). These 29 CWDO have been provided formalization support through legal experts and training programs. CWDOs are taking ownership of the development interventions, as SMEDA-ER has phased out with completion of the project.

ER project beneficiaries have agreed to make monthly contribution of Rs. 300 per grantee to the CWDO for community development activities. Funds collected through this contribution, in a bank account opened in the name of the organization, are spent in accordance with the bylaws.

Legal experts were engaged to support formalization/registration of these organizations with respective social welfare departments. These local organizations are expected to generate Rs. 22 million through contributions from the grant beneficiaries within two years.

Social enterprises, local NGOs and service providers working in flood affected areas have been engaged to build their capacities for better service delivery to the target beneficiaries. After going through an extensive capacity building program and on site mentoring support, 87 local NGOs have come together in the form of LEDN.PK, Pakistan’s first network for supporting micro business and livelihood activities in the flood affected districts. Participating organizations have carried out at least one community support activity as a pre-condition for registration with the LEDN.PK

A group of 20 grantees have been mobilized and engaged by the project team to setup an Industrial home at each project location. With more than 560 females engaged, 28 Industrial homes were set up across Pakistan.

For more information, contact:
Liaqat Ali Gohar
DGM (Admin. and PR)
Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority (SMEDA)
6th floor, LDA Plaza, Egerton Road, Lahore
Tel: 111-111-456
Fax: (042) 6304926

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