The AICS Office in Islamabad was reactivated in September 2019, with a new Head, after 18 months. Pakistan is the most populous of the 20 AICS priority countries’ Offices: of the 220 million inhabitants (the diaspora in Italy represents 1‰ of it) two thirds are young.
“Development Cooperation” is part of the 2013 Strategic Partnership Agreement. It is carried out by AICS, essentially through soft loans, debt swap, multi-bilateral tools.
AICS has leveraged solid bilateral relations in the environmental and cultural fields, and the current whole Strategy (Acknowledging Pakistan through Youth Inclusion) strengthens the Italian MoFA’s past vision and is based on the actual programming priorities for Asia – where it is hoped that we can also operate through a regional approach – in line with the selected SDGs / targets, acknowledging the need to rationalize and modernize the interventions, along the same priorities.
This Strategy is instrumental to the hopeful coming up exercise, with the Pakistani authorities, of the Country Programme, in a few key areas, taking into account the needs for strengthening institutions and catalysing remote rural communities’ self-development (as a contribution to poverty reduction, in the north-western part of the country), in partnership with the private sector.
In line with the previous priorities and those promoted by Pakistan and by the European Delegation, it was decided to work through 3 (interacting) pillars, with a holistic vs value chain approach, at work essentially in the northern area and in the western part of the country: Nature (water, energy, mountain ecosystems, biodiversity), Culture (tangible and intangible), OliveCulture (fruitculture, agrifood), with cross-cutting issues such as climate change, tourism, youth jobs (incl. migration). The nexus between research, education, work, especially for young people, in the country and, with regard to relations between our two countries, is key. This approach is in line with the response to the impact of COVID-19.
It should also be noted that the European Union is setting up the multi-year plan and our strategy is in line with it, both from a sectoral and geographical point of view.
Through the United Nations we promote innovation: Youth and Science, Radio Education, Decent Work and Diaspora, SMEs and B2B value chains in connection with academia.