LAHORE              -            The new head of Department for International Development (DFID) in Pakistan, Annabel Gerry, called on Punjab Planning and Development (P&D) Chairman Hamed Yaqoob Sheikh here on Tuesday to discuss matters of coordination and partnership in projects of various sectors. The DFID head lauded Punjab government’s support and efforts for strengthening donor coordination and partnerships. She promised full support especially in providing innovative solutions through Sub-National Governance (SNG) Innovation and Action Research Fund to solve key governance issues. Ms Annabelle Gerry appreciated the P&D Board’s leadership for their effective donor coordination and also stressed the need for cooperation and support in key areas of reform through the SNG Programme. While, Punjab P&D Chairman Hamed Yaqoob Sheikh was of the view that partnerships, collaborations and donor coordination are key to Punjab’s development and linking investments to growth strategy targets. Hamed Sheikh also chaired the Project Steering Committee of the DFID-supported Sub-National Governance Programme (SNG) which works on Planning and Public Financial Management reforms as well as local government reforms.He said that technical assistance for government planning and finance reforms helped in better strategizing and planning for key development initiatives of the government as well as linking investments to the Punjab growth strategy targets.

Punjab P&D Chairman also appreciated the DFID support especially in partnering with government in reform strategy for P&D and finance as well as building capacity of newly inducted planning officers and making guidelines for local government department.

DFID’s Punjab Head Jinal Shah, Governance Advisor Sarah Cooper, Punjab Governance Advisor Omar Mukhtar and Secretary P&D Imran Baloch, Secretary Excise and Taxation and Secretary Local Government were also present.