Mehmood Ul Hassan Khan
The UAE Project to Assist Pakistan (UAEPAP) is making the history in the fields of social services, universal humanitarian assistance programs and the last but not the least, bilateral relations of the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan. Rather it has further strengthened the already existed cordially relations by doing extraordinary work in the major areas of social development including health, education, water and infrastructure. It turned tears into smiles in the far-flung areas of Khyber-Pakhtunkhawa and South Waziristan. Now people are enjoying with basic necessities of life. It was initiated on the directives of Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the United Arab Emirates in Pakistan and mitigates the impact of floods by redeveloping infrastructure. The UAE-PAP has worked along a comprehensive redevelopment plans that take into account the harsh geography and the rough weather conditions of the region.
Most recently, the (UAEPAP) launched the final phase of its seven valuable projects relating to healthcare in the different parts of the country i.e. Bajaur, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and South Waziristan.
According to its officials these projects would be an icon in the field of health care in these areas. The projects are constructed and completed at a cost of over US$17.1 million. The directorate of the UAEPAP is hoped that it would provide best possible available health care system/facilities to people living in war-ravaged areas of the KPK province. State-of-the-art hospital in Bajaur has now been completed while the other six healthcare centers/units/hospitals are expected to be completed during the current year 2013. The said projects include four modern hospitals, two clinics and a medical institute in Pakistani remote areas which lack the basic healthcare services.
These projects stand for a noble cause of protecting the children, women and men from the virulent diseases, seasonal infectious illness and natural catastrophes if any. It would provide them first-aid facilities, nursing, surgery, child health care along with all other diversified medications and health care facilities. Special attention is given to old-aged people and infants. Two of these four hospitals, the 100-bed Sheikh Khalifa Specialised Hospital are under construction in Saidu Sharif, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, and the 50 bed Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Hospital in Shulam area of South Waziristan. The modern medical institute will serve two hundred male and female students. The facilities will be fully-equipped to treat patients in the poor areas.
Moreover, the Sheikh Khalifa Hospital will be first in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province having ambulance helicopter. Hopefully, it would enhance medical efficiency by reducing distances and crucial time limits to reach at the doors of the hospital through the facility of ambulance helicopter.
The Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Hospital in Shulam features South Waziristan’s first dialysis centre, first preventive medicine centre and first children’s immunization center. It would introduce the concept of healthy living in the people living in these areas where health consciousness is neglected. It would control the occurring of the fatal diseases relating to kidney, liver, gastro, stomach, digestive system, gut and many more.
The 70-bed Bajaur hospital consists of a dialysis centre, an electro encephalograph (EEG) unit, two quarantine units, two operating rooms as well as wards for chest diseases, skin diseases and emergency and outpatient clinics to serve a population of 800,000 people of the underprivileged region.
According to medical practitioners, the said hospital would keep the people healthy by taking care of their sinking and dysfunctional hearts. The chest diseases consisting of respiratory system disorder, minor deformities, and of course the inefficiency of the chest wall and muscular action of the intercostal muscles and diaphragm along with obstacles in proper ventilation will be checked thoroughly at the said hospital.
In another filed of humanity care and magnanimous social service at large, the diversified but integrated activities, initiatives and programs sponsored by the UAE Armed Forces around the globe and especially in Pakistan were highly appreciated by the WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean Dr Ala Alwan. Initiative to “global eradicate polio 2018” was launched by His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. It was thoroughly discussed with the UAE Ambassador to Pakistan, Isa Abdullah Al Nuaimi.
“The WHO attaches great importance to His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s initiative to eradicate polio in all affected areas. The UAE, under the wise leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, is among the leading players extending humanitarian and developmental projects all over the world,” added Alwan.
The meeting discussed the different aspects of the said plans to eradicate the polio under the support given by the UAE, as well as coordination between the UAE and WHO in supporting health programmes in Pakistan.
Earlier this year, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan pledged a donation of USD 120 million (AED 440 million) in support of a child health initiative to eradicate polio by 2018, worldwide. The prime focus will be in the regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan, where polio still remains endemic. It is hoped that ending polio will not only be a historic feat for humanity, but also a huge part of our efforts to reach every hard-to-reach child with a range of life saving vaccines. A partnership between Sheikh Mohammed and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation made in 2011 a combined donation of US$100m (AED 367.3million) to buy and deliver the polio vaccines to children in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The new plan capitalizes on the best opportunity to eradicate polio, with the number of children paralyzed by this disease at their lowest level ever. The urgency is linked to the tremendous advances made in 2012 and the narrow window of opportunity to seize on that progress and stop all poliovirus transmission before polio-free countries become re-infected.
Continuation of Generosity
Humanitarian assistance has been one the cornerstones of the UAE pragmatic foreign policy. It won millions of hearts and changed their souls around globe. It is now one of the leading countries in global foreign aid drive. Its extended spirits for the wellbeing of underprivileged communities and struggling people with harsh geography, conflicts, and natural calamities are paying dividends.
In this connection, acting upon directives from President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), on behalf of the UAE government, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the (UAEPAP) whereby it gives a grant worth (US$100 million) to fund development projects in Pakistan.
The MoU was signed by the Acting Director General of ADFD, Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, and the Director General of the UAE Project to Assist Pakistan, Abdullah Al Ghafli, in presence of a number of officials, at ADFD head office in Abu Dhabi.
The grant will fund three vital development projects to bolster transport, education and health sectors in the different areas in Pakistan.
Al Suwaidi said, “the grant, which is under the directives and the direct follow-up by the UAE prudent leadership, reflects the UAE government’s interest in extending a helping hand to developing countries across the world in order to contribute to efforts to alleviate their suffering. The UAE is interested in being an effective partner in effective development projects, in particular in infrastructure sector which is a pillar of economic and social development and the solid foundation of growth and prosperity of societies.” The grant includes Dh223 million to fund the construction of Makeen-Miranshah Road, which will link South Waziristan with North Waziristan running through three cities and twenty villages. The said project will also include the construction of ten bridges spanning between 50 to 19- meters.
Furthermore, Dh92 million will be used to fund the second phase of the 1000-bed UAE Specialist Hospital in Islam Abad, one of the biggest healthcare projects under construction in Pakistan. When completed, the said hospital will be able to serve 6000 outpatients a day. Dh46 million of the grant will be used to build three vocational colleges in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
For his part, Al Ghafli said the agreement with ADFD will add boost to the UAE’s humanitarian efforts in Pakistan under the directives of the wise leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. The efforts are followed up by H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, he noted.
He affirmed that the grant will boost sustainable development and economic growth in Pakistan.
Historically, ADFD started its activity in Pakistan in 1981 when it provided a loan worth more than Dh66 million to Pakistan to fund the building of Tarbela Dam on River Indus to boost Pakistan’s electricity sector. –
According to a report of the UAE-PAP, the program includes the building and equipping of 53 state-of-the-art educational projects, 43 schools and 10 colleges. These projects will benefit around 30,000 male and female students in all educational levels. As part of the UAE’s endeavour to develop higher and academic education in Pakistan, 10 male and female colleges were built and supplied with state-of-the-art teaching aid and high-tech scientific and computer labs, in addition to technical and mechanical workshops for practical training. The UAE project to Assist Pakistan has accomplished 47 world-class schools and institutes and handed them over to the local authorities in Khyber Pakhtunkhawa.
The Program embraces the building, equipping and maintenance of 7 hospitals and clinics in Khyber-Pakhtunkhawa and South Waziristan. Two of these, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Hospital and Sheikha Fatima bin Mubarak Hospital, are specialised maternity and paediatric hospitals to provide health-care and emergency services for women and children.
With the aim of providing clean water and protecting people against diseases and epidemics, about 64 drinking water supply projects have been accomplished, 44 of them in Khyber-Pakhtunkhawa and 20 in the South of Waziristan region.
Sheikh Khalifa Bridge has been rebuilt over Swat River damaged by flood. The 330-metre bridge serves 70 thousand persons which represents an architectural icon and a tourist destination with its unique design that resembles Abu Dhabi’s Al Maqta’ Bridge and its historic fort.
Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Road, funded by Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation, is one of the most important infrastructure projects in the South Waziristan. It is a strategic vein stretching from the city of Wana to Angor Adda. The 50-kilometers road, with its 5 over passing bridges, is of strategic importance for transportation between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Bridge on Swat River was also rebuilt destroyed by the floods. The 448-metre bridge is considered the most important bridge in Khyber-Pakhtunkhawa and a vital crossing for the people there as it joins 15 cities with 45 villages on Swat river banks.
According to the report, a vaccination campaign, in which 20,000 children were immunised against measles and polio, was implemented in Khyber-Pakhtunkhawa. The humanitarian drive aimed at curbing the negative health effects caused by floods and natural disasters, in addition to supporting the global efforts and initiatives to eliminate measles and polio.
The initiative underlines Sheikh Khalifa’s determination to extend assistance to students so as to get learning facilities in an ideal environment. UAE President’s directive has brought to life modern educational facilities worth US $27.6 million accommodating up to 28,000 students.
The UAE Project to Assist Pakistan has already announced the completion and delivery of 64 water projects at a cost of $5.774 million in Khyber-Pakhtunkhawa and the Southern region of Pakistan. The water supply schemes are based on tube well and spring well mechanism. Within a year, all schemes have been completed and are functional providing clean water at every doorstep.