€22 Million Financing Agreement between Governments of Pakistan and France for the Renovation of Lahore
ISLAMABAD: The Government of Pakistan and Government of France, represented by Agence Française de Développement / French Development Agency have signed a € 22-million financing agreement to extend technical and financial support for the renovation of Lahore Fort. The HURL – Heritage & Urban Regeneration in Lahore – project aims to protect and restore a unique heritage site in Pakistan. The focus areas will be promoting tourism, generating additional economic activities and building climate change resilience for local communities.
The Fort and walled city of Lahore, located in the heart of a metropolis of 11 million inhabitants, comprise a group of various singular monuments of exceptional historical and cultural value, and dense ancient neighborhoods. The listing of the fort as a World Heritage Site in Danger in 1981 by UNESCO highlighted the many threats to its integrity. Since 2012, the Government of Punjab, the Walled City of Lahore Authority (WCLA) and the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) began a decade-long conservation initiative to restore and develop the site.
The French government, through AFD, is pleased to be lending its support to this endeavor: The French Ambassador in Pakistan, Nicolas Galey, said: “France is proud to be part of to the ambitious plan of the Punjab Government to develop and promote the unique cultural heritage of Lahore. The rehabilitation and development of the Lahore Fort surroundings will be a powerful engine of sustainable economic development of the city by increasing the tourist attractiveness of the places and improving the living conditions of the riparian populations.”
The financing of the HURL project will span over 5 years. It is expected to: (i) contribute to the restoration and enhancement of the Lahore Fort strengthening its resilience; (ii) generate additional income and employment, especially for women and the transgender community; (iii) expand tourism development by including the neighborhoods around the fort (buffer zone) as an interface for growth; and (iv) build the capacity of WCLA and its partners. In financing this project, the AFD is strengthening its commitment towards urban development in Lahore. This landmark project is but the first in the French government’s steps to help in heritage rehabilitation throughout South Asia