Karachi -“Helping to strengthen Pakistan’s energy sector in ways that increase the supply of electricity to consumers is a top assistance priority for the United States government. That’s why USAID funded the development of the Hyderabad Electric Supply Company’s planning and engineering center”. 

This was stated by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Deputy Mission Director, Skip Waskin while meeting with the officials of the Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (HESCO) and then with 100 students studying English on a US government-funded programme. The US Consulate General Karachi Public Affairs Officer, Corina Sanders were also present on this occasion.

Deputy Director Waskin and Public Affairs Officer Sanders visited the computer center to see Hyderabad Electric Supply Company engineers using the latest generation of sophisticated computers and software to help ensure a more reliable supply of power to consumers.

Speaking at the computer center, Waskin said, “I am delighted to see how this US-funded computer center allows the Hyderabad Electric Supply Company to assess energy losses and develop plans to ensure a more reliable supply of electricity to consumers.”  USAID has established similar computer centers in seven other distribution companies throughout the country. 

In addition to these activities, the United States is renovating thermal plants at Jamshoro, Guddu and Muzaffagarh, which have already added 650 megawatts to the national grid since September 2011.  The US government is also co-financing the completion of the Gomal Zam and Satpara dams which will add another 35 megawatts and irrigate more than 200,000 acres.  Finally, it is helping to replace thousands of highly inefficient agricultural and municipal water pumps throughout the country to save additional megawatts.

These and other major US energy projects will add 900 megawatts to the national grid by the end of this year – enough power to supply electricity to estimated two million households. 

The group next visited Pakistani students who are learning English through the US-sponsored English Access Micro-scholarship Programme. They toured classrooms and interacted with students.  Public Affairs Officer Sanders noted that “through English Access, students are not only gaining valuable language skills but they are also learning about leadership, community service.”

The US operates the world’s largest English Access Micro-scholarship Programme in Pakistan, teaching English to 5,000 14 to 18-year old students from disadvantaged backgrounds.  The students learn English by participating in after-school classes and intensive summer learning activities, leading to better jobs and educational opportunities.