UAE’s humanitarian support in Pakistan acknowledged by UN Refugee Agency

The UNHCR’s representative in Pakistan, Neill Wright, has lauded the outstanding and unprecedented role the United Arab Emirates has played under the leadership of the President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Gulf Today reported. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), also known as the UN Refugee Agency, is a United Nations agency mandated to protect and support refugees at the request of a government or the UN itself and assists in their voluntary repatriation, local integration or resettlement to a third country.

uae-support-pkThe UAE has helped to improve the difficult conditions currently being faced by the people in Pakistan due to the floods and natural disasters which caused this humanitarian crisis.

Wright praised the UAE’s benevolence and continued support which was begun by the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and which has grown to encompass almost every country in the world. The legacy was continued by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan under a system of charitable and humanitarian works by the United Arab Emirates.

In a statement to the Emirates News Agency (WAM), the UNHCR representative Neill Wright said that he is, with pride and appreciation, following up on the projects implemented by the UAE in Pakistan as per the directives and initiatives of Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. One of these pilot projects which provides the basic and necessary infrastructure comprising roads, bridges, schools and hospitals, health centres, basic services and water, will guarantee the people of Pakistan – who have faced difficult circumstances over the past years – the means to a decent life.

The UN official expressed hope that the the partnership and cooperation with the UAE will strengthen over the completion of the project to help Pakistan alleviate its severe shortages of basic and necessary services.

He said that the concerted efforts of both the UAE and the UNHCR will bring additional gains to the beneficiaries of their programmes in Pakistan, and will add a dimension and a qualitative leap to their future projects.

In response to a question on the UAE Project to Assist Pakistan (UPAP) and the delivery of 49 schools in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and South Waziristan, Neil Wright said that these schools, which were established by the UAE, will always be remembered by future generations and shall contribute well to the status of the current education system.

He praised the efforts of the UAE in establishing the first training and rehabilitation centre for women in Pakistan. It will be an important and necessary addition to the services that aim to improve the conditions of families and women in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

He also mentioned the vital projects carried out by the UAE in Pakistan which include the Sheikh Zayed Bridge and Sheikh Khalifa Bridge on the Swat river, and the Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed road in Waziristan. He enumerated that these development projects will help lessen the plight of the people in the affected areas. “These vital projects, especially roads and bridges facilities, are essential for Pakistani people in order to help them to move from place to another,” he said.

The UN official praised the UAE’s continued support for international efforts in eradicating endemic diseases, referring to the campaign which vaccinated 20,000 children against measles and polio in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Over the status of internally displaced persons, Wright added that it depends on the end of the military operations and when they can address the negative impact of the natural calamities. He stated that there are one million Pakistanis who are displaced due to these events, most of them in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa area.

Wright added that there are major challenges facing these displaced people and that they lack everything: food, protection, basic resources and funds as well as the provision of security. Most of them have been subjected to unnecessary risks, and women have lost their husbands and their children. There are also sick people who need the proper medical support. Aid that is received is classified and divided in various activities and areas and sectors, be it for the displaced, health or education, etc. It is a comprehensive process, but we must provide continuous sources, he affirmed. At the end, Wright expressed his hope to work more with the UAE in 2014 towards accomplishing these goals.

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