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Pakistan: Front Line Defenders awards security grant to a women's organisation
In January 2012, we awarded a security grant to a women's organisation operating in the semi-autonomous Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in Northwest Pakistan for the construction of a 'panic room'- a reinforced blast resistant concrete structure . The organisation's office in FATA had previously been closed due to threats to staff and the high level of risk they face.
When the organisation decided to re-open their office they requested a security grant in order to construct a secure panic room inside the organisation's office. The organisation rehabilitates and reconstructs schools with a special focus on girl schools in FATA that have been destroyed by militants using explosives.
There is a campaign by the Taliban and other militants operating in the area against the provision of education and this is especially the case when it comes to the education of girls. Staff of the organisation have been targeted by militant groups who have also issued threats that their office would be blown up. Staff have been detained, attacked and injured and human rights defenders in the region have been killed.
With relation to the impact of the grant this is what the organisation said:
'The absence of this grant could have hampered our effort to continue our work in FATA as there were high chances that our office could be attacked by the militants and the chances were that we could have lost lives of innocent workers who were working to increase girl’s enrolment in the conflict hit areas. Because of this security item we were successfully able to rehabilitate 60 school schools in FR of Peshawar and increased the 9000 girls enrolment in 60 schools which could have been undermined otherwise. Also we have started a school mentoring program in FATA and is currently mentoring 120 primary schools in FATA in conflict zone and giving teachers & student basic human right education'.