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UAE Minister vows continued support to Pakistan

posted on 20/11/2005: 736 views

Minister for Labour and Social Affairs Dr. Ali Abdullah Al Ka'abi announced on Saturday that the UAE is committed to channel all its energies to continue to meet the needs of the earthquake survivors. "We fully recognise that this is a challenge that faces all of us. What the people of Pakistan now face is the much longer term tasks of rebuilding and of rehabilitation. This has to be achieved against a background of declining international interest," Dr.Ali Abdullah Al Ka'abi told the donors conference.

Highlighting a relief and reconstruction plan policy, he called for identification of specific needs that could be addressed, like funding reconstruction programmes for schools, housing and healthcare.

He said he recognises that for the long-term programme of aid-giving to achieve the best-possible results it is important that there should not be a duplication of effort. "Different agencies and countries are able to help in different ways. There needs to be proper co-ordination between all of us who are involved."

He said UAE will work closely with the Government of Pakistan and other bodies involved in the relief effort, in particular with the relevant UN institutions and with the major international relief agencies, to make sure that enough aid arrives and that it is used in the most effective manner.

The UAE Minister said that they need personnel with particular skills; Emirates will try to locate them, and to make them available. He said he has also carried a message from President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who has stated that the Government and people of Pakistan need help so that they can tackle the results of this awful natural disaster.

"The Government and people of the United Arab Emirates will respond "now, and in the future - to their needs, both directly and through international relief efforts, with money, with logistics support and with anything else that we have at our disposal,” President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan said.

He said that the UAE responded rapidly to the emergency need for disaster relief as many people have suffered directly from the impact of the earthquake, through loss or injury of their family members and damage to their homes and property. He told the conference that it was agencies from the United Arab Emirates who were the first to arrive on the scene.

He recalled that the President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, immediately ordered that a donation of 100 million US dollars was to be allocated for reconstruction work.

He said a military field hospital is currently operating in the areas affected by the earthquake adding that police emergency rescue units, UAE doctors and the UAE Red Crescent Authority have also been playing an active role. He said the field hospital also sending serious cases for treatment.

He said thousands of tents and hundreds of tons of food and medical supplies have been delivered to those areas which were affected. He said that four water purification plants supplied by the UAE are now in operation, in Balakot and Muzaffarabad.

He said there has also been an outpouring of support from private sector companies and institutions and from the public, both through humanitarian organisations and through voluntary bodies in the UAE's various communities. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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