500 scholarships have been made available by the US government to help Pakistani university students from flood-affected areas finish their degrees.
At a celebration honouring female scholars’ accomplishments in honour of International Women’s Day at the Higher Education Commission (HEC) in Islamabad, US Ambassador Donald Blome announced the scholarships.
Federal Minister of Planning Ahsan Iqbal, HEC Chairman Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, NDMA Chairman Lieutenant General Inam Haider Malik, HEC Executive Director Dr. Shaista Sohail, USAID Mission Director Reed Aeschliman, university vice chancellors, students, and alumni were in attendance at the occasion.
Through USAID, the US has provided scholarships for deserving but underprivileged students to attend prestigious universities in Pakistan.
With the Merit and Needs Based Scholarship Program, the US government has collaborated with the HEC to grant more than 6,000 scholarships. As part of the US government’s support for women’s higher education, 60% of those scholarships have been given to women.
“International Women’s Day serves as a day to honour the contributions that our moms, grandmothers, sisters, aunts, and daughters have made to society in terms of social, economic, cultural, and political spheres. Also, it is a call to action to quicken gender parity and destroy gender stereotypes, according to Ambassador Blome.
“US government support to important sectors in Pakistan, especially the higher education sector, is noteworthy,” said HEC Chairman Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed. These scholarships not only enabled many deserving students attend university, pulling themselves and their families out of poverty, but they also helped Pakistan acquire essential skill and knowledge sets to power the country’s economy.
Ahsan Iqbal, the federal minister of planning, stated that Pakistan has experienced “catastrophic floods” that caused millions of people to lose their homes and means of support. The United States and other contributors deserve praise for their humanitarian response. We appreciate the U.S. helping students affected by the floods.
A scholarship recipient named Jennifer Andleeb spoke about the difficulties she had in pursuing a higher degree and how this scholarship altered the course of her life. She underlined that investing in education is the only way to bring about constructive social change and that strong, educated women are essential to Pakistan’s future success.