Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak,the Honorary Chairperson of the UAE Red Crescent Authority (RCA), said yesterday that the implementation of the plans for health projects that form part of the UAE Project to Assist Pakistan and the establishment of two integrated hospitals in the Bajur Region, at a cost of US$17 million came to support last year's devastating floods.
She added that the aid is evidence of the deep and historic ties between the UAE and Pakistan, providing testimony of the deep-rooted and distinguished co-operation between the two countries.
joint cooperation ties between the two countries. "Pakistan was one of the first three countries in the world to recognize the UAE, following the declaration of the Union on 2nd December 1971," she noted, adding that full diplomatic ties were immediately established.
The statement was made following signing yesterday of agreement between the management of the UAE project and the Pakistani authorities to implement a number of healthcare projects in Pakistan.
The agreement was signed by Abdullah Khalifa Al Ghafli, Director of the Emirati project to assist Pakistan and Major General Zahir Shah, Commander of the GOC 45th Engineers Division of the Pakistani Armed Forces.
Under the agreement, a number of projects will be implemented in support of the healthcare sector in Pakistan, including construction, refurbishment and maintenance of 7 hospitals and clinics, of which, two model hospitals; the Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Hospital and the Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Hospital, will be built in Khaibar Province at a total cost of Dh63 million.
Sheikha Fatima said that the speed and efficiency involved in the implementation of previous phases of the UAE Project to Assist Pakistan in terms of infrastructure projects like bridges, schools and provision of drinking water "reflect the distinctive methods and unique manner adopted by the UAE to boost the charitable and humanitarian work.
These efforts represent a shift from provision of relief aid in times of catastrophes to the implementation of projects designed to achieve sustainable development".
Sheikha Fatima noted that the pivotal role played by the UAE in tackling the catastrophes and crises and in ameliorating their impact worldwide is due to the generosity of the President,Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, of the Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai ,Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and of His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, as well as to the follow-up of Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi and Chairman of the RCA.
She reaffirmed that the leadership of the UAE was committed to follow in the footsteps of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, in terms of adhering to the norms and humanitarian values of Islam regarding charitable and humanitarian work, noting that the path laid down by the late Sheikh Zayed has been followed by the UAE President, earning the UAE a leading and significant role in this field worldwide.
Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union and of the Family Development Foundation and Honorary Chairperson of the Red Crescent Authority (RCA) gave the RCA Dh5 million (US$1.36 million) in August last year to help it dispatch relief aid to Pakistan to help the victims of the floods there.
Following this initiative by Sheikha Fatima, an RCA medical team of volunteers, assisted by a team of 400 local people, carried out a program in February 2011 to provide vaccinations against measles and polio to around two and a half Pakistani children. The program, in 18 parts of the Sindh region that had been affected by the floods, was undertaken in co-ordination with UNICEF and involved a total of 188 vaccination centers.
The Campaign to Cure One Million Children, sponsored by Sheikha Fatima, also provided free treatment and medicine to over five million children affected by the floods who were suffering from malnutrition and from digestive and respiratory diseases.