BISP inks MoU with USAID-PYWD project for improved socio-economic opportunities


ISLAMABAD Sept 26 (TNS): Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) has inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with US Agency for International Development (USAID)-Punjab Youth Workforce Development (PYWD) project for improved socio-economic opportunities for marginalized youth through skill-based training

“BISP is a social safety net that endeavors to tackle poverty through multi-pronged strategy. It not only assists in poverty management but also works to graduate its beneficiaries out of poverty through the cooperation of other government and non-government organizations working in the field,” stated Minister of State and Chairperson BISP Marvi Memon speaking at the signing ceremony of MoU between BISP and USAID-PYWD for skill training of beneficiary family members and their placement in the market providing them with wide range of economic opportunities.

The USAID-PYWD is a three-year project which aims to train and provide employment opportunities for youth in Multan, Lodhran, Muzaffargarh and Bahawalpur districts in South Punjab.

The MoU was signed by the Chief of Party, PYWD Project Qaisar Nadeem and DG BISP Dr Muhammad Najeeb Khan in presence of Marvi Memon and Secretary BISP Sardar Azmat Shafi.

The ceremony was also attended by Imtiaz Hussain Malik, Naveed Basharat Hashmi and Ansa Rabia from PYWD Project, MD PVTC Sajid Naseer, Director National Training Bureau Ashraf Asim, ZM North TEVTA Sheraz Khan Lodhi, representatives of implementing partners of PYWD Project i.e. DAI-PREIA Project, IRM, FINCON, GIZ, Jobs, DAI-CRA Project and BISP officials.

This MoU calls for the joint action and collaboration of BISP and USAID-PYWD Project to achieve the federal government’s goal of taking the households out of poverty by linking them to the complementary initiatives that promote economic self-sufficiency through the transfer of employability and entrepreneurial skills, and linking individuals to markets and to strengthen the Prime Minister’s Youth Loan Initiative.

Under this MoU, BISP will facilitate the PYWD Project to identify, screen and select marginalized youth from BISP database of the beneficiary families as per BISP data Sharing Protocol in Multan, Lodhran, Muzaffargarh and Bahawalpur districts.

PYWD aims to target a total of 10,000 (young women at least 35%; young men 65 %) having priority to beneficiaries of the BISP and invest an estimated 400 million in their skill training and job placements. It will also help them start their businesses by providing them tool kits and microfinance support.

During the presentation on PYWD Project, Qaisar Nadeem informed that community engagement, institutional capacity building and access to workforce education and training are the key interventions of project.

The project would ensure 10,000 skilled workforce developed and placed on jobs with at least 35% women. Under Self-Employment Entrepreneurship Support, 3,500 beneficiaries, preferably women would be provided with toolkits and 1,000 with microfinance. Under Job Placement through Apprenticeship Program, 3,000 beneficiaries would be placed with industry, 1,500 with informal sector and 1,000 with career counseling services. The project would also help improve capacity of 22 TVET sector government institutes.

Chairperson BISP appreciated the design and strategies of PYWD Project and stated that the success of this project would develop an interesting case study leading to establish a model for the rest of the world.

Marvi directed her team for timely provision of data to USAID-PYWD Project in the four districts and reiterated that quick cooperation from both parties is needed in order to achieve the best possible results for the betterment of the poorest of the poor.