AKDN welcomes Canada’s efforts for improving people’s life in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD, OCT 21: High Commissioner of Canada Perry John Carlderwood seapking during a function held to celebrate 35 years parternershp of Aga Khan Network and Govt of Canada partership in Pakistan. DNA PHOTO

ISLAMABAD, OCT 21 (DNA) – Since the early 1980s, the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) and the Government of Canada have worked together to help people in Pakistan improve their quality of life. From the earliest investments in irrigation and drinking water infrastructure, roads and bridges, to massive improvements in literacy and education attainment, especially by women, to today’s expansion of an eHealth system that is revolutionizing the way patients can access care and health professionals can learn in remote areas, the AKDN-Canada partnership has left its mark across Pakistan, from Gilgil-Baltistan all the way to Karachi.

To celebrate the partnership and to mark 150 years of Canadian confederation, High Commissioner of Canada Perry Calderwood and CEO of Aga Khan Foundation Pakistan Akhtar Iqbal hosted an event at the High Commissioner’s residence for members of the diplomatic community, government officials, and civil society.

In his remarks, High Commissioner Calderwood said, “Since 2000, Canada has provided over $320 million in support of the Aga Khan Development Network’s development and humanitarian assistance activities in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

We continue to value greatly our partnership in Pakistan, which has transformed health and education in local communities, empowering women and youth.”

Chairman of the Aga Khan Foundation Pakistan Iqbal Walji echoed the High Commissioner’s words, and added a note about applying lessons from the partners’ joint experience to the future.

“If there is one thing that AKDN has learned from our more than 100 years of working to improve quality of life in Pakistan, it is that the diversity of voices in this country is one of our great strengths.

But not all those voices are speaking at the same volume, and therefore it is incumbent on us to lend our support towards those who society may have quietened and assist them in reasserting their voices and regaining their place in the chorus.”

The event also featured remarks by Aga Khan Foundation Canada CEO Khalil Shariff, as well as two young women who founded a now-flourishing flower arrangement business after winning a micro-grant from a Canadian-funded AKDN project.

These women expressed their appreciation for the ways in which AKDN has improved their lives and those of their families and neighbours over the decades.=DNA