ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Germany on Friday signed a financial agreement worth €22.4 million to support existing projects in the areas of renewable energy, grid connectivity and access to financial services.
As per the agreement, which was signed as part of the Pakistan-Germany Development Programme, the German side would facilitate access to finance in Pakistan through a microfinance initiative with the Pakistan Microfinance Investment Company (PMIC).
Economic Affairs Division Secretary Noor Ahmed and German Charge’ d Affaires Dr Jens Jokisch signed the agreement. Economic Affairs Minister Hammad Azhar was also present on the occasion.
The financial agreement also includes support for social health protection schemes in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit-Baltistan which are aimed at providing health insurance to the underprivileged masses and investments for polio eradication in collaboration with the Ministry of National Health Services.
The contracting parties underlined the good relations between Germany and Pakistan and looked forward to strengthening their cooperation.
Both sides also decided to hold meaningful deliberations in their upcoming government-to-government negotiations in Berlin this year so as to identify development areas and funds for future projects/proposals.
Economic Affairs Minister Hammad Azhar on the occasion thanked the German government for the grant assistance, which focuses on improving the lives of Pakistani people. He opined that the financial assistance from Germany will support key priority sectors of the government including renewable energy, social health protection and access to financial services.
The minister said the government honours and appreciates financial cooperation from Germany and looks forward to strengthening bilateral relations in future, specifically after the government-to-government negotiations in September.
It is pertinent to mention that development cooperation between Pakistan and Germany dates back to 1961, with the funding volume to date totaling more than €3 billion.