SAARC, CIRDAP sign MoU to foster relationship

KATHMANDU: The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and the Centre on Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific (CIRDAP) on Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to foster collaboration between the organisations in mutually agreed areas.

Secretary-General of SAARC Arjun B. Thapa and Director-General of CIRDAP Dr Cecep Effendi signed the MoU at the SAARC Secretariat in Kathmandu.

Issuing a statement today, the SAARC Secretariat said that the MoU signed today stands to open up a vista of opportunites for the organistaions to complement each other's efforts in rural development and implement joint efforts.

Prespective areas of cooperation outlined in the MoU include: rural development and women empowerment through agro- processing, promoting inter-regional trade in agricultural products, adopting techniques of climate smart agriculture, generating user friendly database on rural statistics, establishing a virtual and multi-stakeholder supported Rural Development Information System (RDIS), formulating and implementing strategic Action Plan for rural development in the region and adopting an Integrated Rural Development Policy for South Asia, the statement reads.

SAARC comprises Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, while CIRDAP consists of six SAARC countries (excepting Bhutan and the Maldives) as well as Fiji, Indonesia, Iran, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, with its headquarters based in Dhaka, Bangladesh.