ISLAMABAD, Oct 20: Turkey has announced a relief package of $150 million for the quake-hit people of Pakistan. The package was announced by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan while addressing a joint press conference with Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz after their talks here Wednesday.

The relief package will include financial assistance of $100 million and relief goods worth $50 million, including one million blankets, 50,000 tonnes of flour and 25,000 tonnes of sugar.

Mr Erdogan said tents would be produced in Turkey and sent immediately to Pakistan in view of the fast approaching winter in the affected areas.

He said his country would establish in the quake-hit areas day-care hospitals and elementary schools to help meet educational requirements of the displaced children.

He said Turkey would also render assistance in the long term phase of reconstruction and rehabilitation and added he had brought with him construction and housing experts.

He said he with Mr Aziz and Turkish experts would inspect some damaged sites on Friday and discuss the projects in which Turkey could help Pakistan.

Turkish premier said his country had experience in building quake-proof buildings and it would like to share the experience with Pakistan. Turkey would provide technical assistance in several other fields, he added.

He said Turkish people were raising funds for contributing to the relief efforts. “Every (Turkish) student has made contribution to the relief fund. Mosques have launched a fund raising campaign and business community was involved in the effort.”

Prime Minister Aziz thanked Turkey for its valuable assistance in meeting the challenge and lauded Mr Erdogan for his commitment to assist during the reconstruction and rehabilitation process.

He said Pakistan would benefit from Turkish experience in rebuilding of roads and other infrastructure and fast track house construction.

He appreciated that the Turkish prime minister was visiting Pakistan when it was facing one of the worst tragedies caused by earthquakes. “Almost 50,000 people have been killed and the number is expected to increase. Many more people have been injured and rendered homeless.”

He said the traumatic experience had caused anguish across the world and the reaction in Turkey had been the most broad-based and widespread.

Updated Oct 21, 2005 12:00am

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