Initiative intensified to support returning Pak expats settle in country

As the Covid-19 has badly affected the job market across the world particularly overseas Pakistanis, a countrywide initiative has been intensified jointly by the government and international organizations in order to support thousands of expatriates coming back to the country to make a new start and achieve a sustainable employment as well as businesses. The Overseas Pakistanis Foundation (OPF) is implementing the initiative on economic reintegration of returnees in collaboration with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in Pakistan.
As part of this programme titled ‘Returning to New Opportunities’, the OPF at a ceremony presented trade-specific toolkits to returning Pakistanis as an in-kind support to help them start sustained self-employment. The programme is commissioned by the Germany’s Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation & Development (BMZ) with Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis as its implementing partner.

Secretary Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis Ishrat Ali was the chief guest at the ceremony who presented trade-specific toolkits to 53 returning migrants as an in-kind support. These migrants have also completed comprehensive business development training from the Pakistani-German Facilitation & Reintegration Centre (PGFRC), established at the OPF premises. Managing Director OPF, Dr. Amer Sheikh, members of Senate and National Assembly Standing Committees on Overseas Pakistanis & HRD, members, OPF Board of Governors, representative from German Embassy as well as international organizations attended the ceremony.
Addressing at the occasion, Head of PGFRC, Dr. Mansoor Zaib Khan shared that the objective of the programme is to support returning migrants and local population to find better jobs as well as sustainable business opportunities. He mentioned that over 800 returning migrants in the trades of electrician, plumber, carpenter, mason, photographer, and culinary arts will benefit from this capacity building leading to in-kind support intervention.
He emphasized that PGFRC is open to all Pakistanis and we regularly give free of cost consultations and guidance on training and skills development, technical and vocational training, entrepreneurship and start-up support and information on living conditions in addition to advice on getting microfinance and loans. The Secretary Ministry of Overseas Pakistani said that sudden influx of large numbers of returning migrants poses serious challenges to the country’s ability to absorb the returnees and to adequately provide for all their reintegration needs, ranging from personal to financial needs.

He also said that now is the time to make reintegration a top priority; the OPF in collaboration with GIZ is committed to this objective and is adopting different measures for the effective reintegration of returning migrants. In his remarks, Managing Director OPF Dr. Amer Sheikh appraised that this MoU between German and Pakistani governments envisages not only to enhance the capacity of returning migrants but also create a conducive support system for their re-integration in the society.
It is to be mentioned that the COVID19 pandemic has badly impacted Pakistanis living in other countries, resulting in huge layoffs triggering repatriation of thousands of expatriates to return to Pakistan for economic re-integration. At this stage, they are very concerned about their job prospects and the OPF as well as PGFRC offer their guidance and consultations in finding better and sustainable job opportunities.

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