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Aga Khan Development Network and French Government sign an agreement for Cooperation in Syria


His Excellency Mr. Eric Chevallier, France’s Ambassador to Syria and His Excellency Mr. Mohamed Seifo, AKDN’s Resident Representative in Syria at the signing of the Partnership Convention between AKDN and the French Government.Damascus, Syria, 26 October 2010 - The French Government and the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) today signed a Partnership Convention for bilateral cooperation in Syria. The convention was signed by His Excellency Mr. Eric Chevallier, France’s Ambassador to Syria, Mr. Mohamed Seifo, AKDN’s Resident Representative in Syria, and Mr. Philippe Lecrinier, Director of the Agence Française de Développement in Syria (AFD).

This agreement follows the signing of a Partnership Convention in December 2008 by the French Minister for Foreign Affairs Bernard Kouchner and AKDN’s Chairman and founder His Highness the Aga Khan, to expand cooperation in a number of countries.

The Partnership Convention, which is enforced from today, includes proposals for collaboration in the following sectors: micro-finance, tourism, culture, regional planning, health, education, road safety, rural development and industrial development.

Speaking on the occasion, AKDN Resident Representative Mr. Mohamed Seifo commented: "This agreement constitutes an integrated model for joint cooperation between two leading organisations in Syria. The Partnership Convention will enable both sides to work together in several joint projects in various sectors. This collaborative approach will contribute to the achievement of development objectives at all levels."

In Syria, AKDN operates in seven provinces (Damascus, Aleppo, Homs, Hama, Lattakia, Sweida and Tartous), serving both rural and urban populations. AKDN programmes in Syria focus on healthcare, education, microfinance, culture, cultural tourism, rural development, institution-support and the promotion of economic development.

Notes:
The Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) (www.akdn.org) was founded by His Highness the Aga Khan, 49th Hereditary Imam (spiritual leader) of the Ismaili Muslims. It is a group of private, non-denominational development agencies working to empower communities and individuals to improve living conditions and opportunities, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, Central and South Asia, and the Middle East. The Network’s nine development agencies focus on social, cultural and economic development for all citizens, regardless of gender, origin or religion. The AKDN’s underlying ethic is compassion for the vulnerable in society. Its annual budget for philanthropic activity is in excess of US$500 million.

The Agence Française de Développement is a bi-lateral development finance institution established in 1941 that works on behalf of the French government. Its mission is to finance development according to France’s Overseas Development Assistance policies. AFD’s activities are aimed at reducing poverty and inequalities, promoting sustainable economic growth, and protecting “Global Public Goods” of benefit to all humanity. Protecting Global Public Goods includes the fight against climate change and pandemics; the preservation of biodiversity; the promotion of social and environmental responsibility; as well as aid to countries weakened by strife, war and natural disasters.

For more information, please contact:
Aga Khan Development Network:
Mr. M. Adham Al-Sayed
Communication Officer
Aga Khan Development Network, Syria
Abou Rumaneh, Rawda Square
Abdul Kader Al-Jazairi St., Bldg No. 15
Damascus - Syria
Tel: +963-11-3343610/11
Fax: +963-11-3343613
E-mail: adham.alsayed@akdn.org  
Website: www.akdn.org/syria  

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