Islamabad: Dr. Rajiv Shah, the Administrator for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), concluded a two-day visit to Pakistan today during which he expressed the strong U.S. commitment to building and improving ties with Pakistan through civilian assistance and development support. His trip built upon very important discussions that have taken place over the last several weeks, including between Deputy Secretary Nides and Foreign Minister Khar in Islamabad, President Zardari and Ambassador Grossman in Dushanbe and between President Obama and Prime Minister Gilani in Seoul.
Dr. Rajiv Shah came to give a message of commitment to the people of Pakistan. Despite last year’s many challenges, U.S. civilian assistance remained steady. USAID looks forward to continuing its relationship with the Pakistani Government and people based on mutual interests and respect.
Dr. Shah emphasized USAID’s commitment to the people of Pakistan when meeting with private sector leaders and female entrepreneurs in Karachi to discuss and promote economic growth at the small and medium enterprise levels. In addition, the Administrator launched a national reading program with Syed Qaim Ali Shah, the Chief Minister of Sindh, that will improve literacy for nearly seven million children, provide training to over 90,000 teachers, and support the development of 3.2 million new readers – including 700,000 children in Sindh.
In Islamabad, Dr. Shah met with Foreign Minister Khar and Finance Minister Shaikh to discuss the importance of civilian assistance to the stability of Pakistan; signed a Memorandum of Understanding to create three Centers for Advanced Studies at Pakistani universities to promote Pakistan’s water, energy, and agriculture sectors; and inaugurated a retrospective photo exhibition at the Pakistan National Council of the Arts organized by USAID that celebrates the more than 50-year history of USAID’s work in Pakistan.
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