Welcome to the first edition of SAARC Development Fund Secretariat’s e-Newsletter. SDF seeks to improve the quality of life of people by accelerating economic growth, social progress, poverty alleviation and regional integration in the SAARC region. This e-Newsletter which will be widely circulated within the institution and across the region is one of the activities of the SDF outreach program. You will be informed on a monthly basis about various aspects of SDF and new initiatives through this e-newsletter..
The overall aim of this e-newsletter is to provide a platform for exchange of information, knowledge, experiences and best practices that will lead to widespread dissemination of all Social, Economic and Infrastructure projects in SAARC region. Therefore, I welcome all stakeholders to contribute their opinions, research, news stories, articles and project summaries that will help towards the goal of this outreach program.
The SDF team comprising CEO, Dr. Sunil Motiwal and Ms. Sania Akhtar, Manager of Communication & Knowledge Management attended the meeting. SDF and Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in Mumbai to collaborate for the growth and strengthening of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) sector in SAARC member states. “SDF is committed towards promotion of regional integration in the SAARC region through its projects and programme.” Chief Executive Officer of SDF, Dr. Sunil Motiwal said.
The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) will be co-financing projects and programmes in the SAARC region with the SDF. The project will focus on the areas of rural energy, transport and ICT connectivity, in terms of up-gradation of infrastructure and enhancing regional connectivity in SAARC member states. This was discussed during a meeting between the CEO. SDF and Mr. Jin Liqun, President, AIIB.
Fifty-Second Session of the Programming Committee preceded the Meetings of the Standing Committee and the Council of Foreign Ministers of SAARC in which Dr. Sunil Motiwal; CEO of SDF attended the Programming Committee. The objectives of meeting was to consider and make recommendations on matters related to Regional Centres and Specialized Bodies of SAARC such as the South Asian University, the SAARC Development Fund, SAARC Arbitration Council and the South Asian Standardization Organisation. The Committee also deliberate on matters related to important areas of cooperation such as agriculture, rural development, terrorism, narcotic drugs, information and media.
SDF conducted a meeting of officials from Finance ministry of eight SAARC member states that included Counterpart Agencies, Lead Implementing Agency (LIA) and Implementing Agency (IA) of SDF funded project “SABAH”. The objectives of the meeting were fulfillment of objectives of the project, and Impact of the project. SDF CEO Dr. Sunil Motiwal stated that this meeting would not only help the livelihood and earning aspect of Home Based workers but also help in addressing the challenges and issues, help in achieving the objectives of the project and achieving the sustainability of each project.
ADB and SDF have signed an MoU and agreed to collaborate for the development of the SAARC region through co-financing of projects and programs focusing on regional connectivity /integration and economic cooperation among the SAARC Member States.
Areas such as Transport, Road Connectivity, ICT, Industrial Development, Trade & Investment and Energy will be the focus areas of co-funding of projects in the SAARC Member States. ADB has already submitted a road connectivity Project Proposal titled “ South Asia Sub Regional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Road Improvements Project, Nepal to SDF for co-funding.
Dr. Sunil Motiwal, Chief Executive Officer of the SDF represented the Fund in announcement of partnership between SAARC Development Fund and UNDP. CEO said that partnership will play a significant role in regional integration and cooperation among SAARC member states, which can mobilize funding for larger social, economic and infrastructure projects to benefit the people of the SAARC region.
Mr. Haoliang Xu, Assistant Secretary General and Regional Director of UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Asia and Pacific, signed on behalf of the programme with Dr. Sunil Motiwal, CEO of the SDF.
Dr. Motiwal met Mr. K.V. Kamath, President, NDB and senior officials of NDB in Shanghai China in order to discuss formulation of strategies and action plan for the strategies growth of SAARC Member states.
CEO, SDF was Invited by SABAH to attend the event Celebrating Homebased Workers organized by SABAH/HNSA as one of the key speakers. The event saw participation from over 150 individuals from across Asia to celebrate the lives and work of the invisible homebased workers. It was first of its kind event hosted in Ahmedabad to increase visibility and raise awareness regarding these silent contributors to their communities and countries.
Mr. Suraj Vaidya, President of SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Mr. Rajeev Chadha, Executive Committee Member visited SAARC Development Fund Secretariat to discuss the possibility of collaboration and co-financing of projects in the SAARC region. The delegation also included the president and Vice President of Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and other important officials of BCCI.
SDF funded project Strengthening Maternal and Child Health Including Immunization (MCH) inaugurated the Malalai Maternity Hospital SNCU ward in Afghanistan. The Malalai Maternity Hospital SNCU ward in Afghanistan was inaugurated by his Excellency Dr. Ferozudin Feroz (The minister of Public Health, Afghanistan), he gave a speech and thanked the SDF for kind positive steps in Afghanistan. Delegation from UNICEF, WHO, MOPH, IA and central hospitals representatives also participated in the inauguration.
Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Funding Program
Social Enterprises Development Program (SEDP) in collaboration with the World Bank Group
PPP facilitation Unit and Project development Facility
Upcoming Projects in Social Window
Economic Empowerment of Women through Energy Access in Mountain Countries of South Asia
Networking and capacity building of women entrepreneurs (SMEs) from SAARC Countries
Support to Value Chain development, Entrepreneurship and Skill Development and Improved Connectivity
Upcoming Projects in E & I Windows
CASA-1000 Pakistan portion in collaboration with the World Bank and Islamic Development Bank
South Asia Sub Regional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Road Improvements Project, Nepal in collaboration with Asian Development Bank
Kholongchhu Hydro Energy Ltd. (KHEP) Bhutan in collaboration with Public Sector Undertaking (PSU), Government of India
Arun 3 HEP, Nepal in collaboration with Public Sector (PSU), Government of India and Government of Nepal
News from the SAARC Region
WHO declares Southeast Asia polio-free
The World Health Organization declared Southeast Asia polio-free in the year 2014, marking a global health milestone for India, where the disease accounted for nearly half of all worldwide cases just five years ago. The announcement comes after an independent commission of public health experts determined that the 11-nation region, as defined by the WHO, has not had a confirmed polio case for the last three years.
Capacity building of media in South Asia to advocate and influence regional cooperation for migrant labour, (2015-2017).
Engaging 16 South Asian journalists (print, broadcast and online) on labour-related laws, international migrant labour rights and increasing the frequency and quality of media coverage of migrant labour by through stories on the issues. The objective of this project is to create and promote a migrant labor friendly environment by initiating a common South Asian voice for labor reforms.