LAHORE: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has said that all relief assistance meant for the quake-affected people of Turkiye and Syria should be sent through the National Disaster Manage­ment Authority (NDMA) for the purpose of coordination.

The prime minister lauded humanitarian and charity organisations for their ongoing relief work in the quake-hit areas of Turkiye, noting that Pakistanis were in the forefront to support their affected brethren and sisters.

While chairing a meeting to review Pakistan-led relief activities in the quake-hit Turkiye and Syria, the prime minister constituted a sub-committee, to be headed by Federal Minister For Planning Ahsan Iqbal, for sharing information among the government and civil society organisations over the dispatch of relief goods. He said with the help of real-time information, the quake victims could be supported in a better way.

The meeting was attended by Faisal Edhi of Edhi Foundation, Maulana Bashir Farooqi of Saylani Trust and Abdul Shakoor of Al-Khidmat Foundation, besides the minister for planning, special assistant to the premier Tariq Fatemi, Pakistan’s ambassadors to Turkiye and Syria and other senior officials.

Orders immediate return of hepatitis programme to PKLI

The meeting was apprised of the details of the relief goods sent to the countries through the NDMA. On PM’s directive, the cost and preparation time for tents had been decided in consultation with tent manufacturers, said NDMA chairman Lt Gen Inam Haider Malik.

By the end of next month, the government of Pakistan would send 100,000 tents to Turkiye. The tents were being prepared keeping in view the weather requirements and in consultation with the Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD).

The welfare organisations representatives provided details of consignments comprising tents, medicines, edible items, blankets and warm clothes sent to Turkiye and Syria. Besides, medical teams had also been sent to provide relief to quake survivors.

Mr Sharif appreciated their efforts and directed the NDMA to keep constant coordination with them.

He also directed the officials concerned to strengthen the supply chain and come up with a comprehensive mechanism in this regard by next month.

At another meeting, the premier reviewed facilities being provided at Pakistan Kidney and Liver Institute and issued orders for immediate return of the Hepatitis Prevention and Treatment Programme to PKLI.

Caretaker chief minister of Punjab Mohsin Raza Naqvi, chief secretary Zahid Akhtar Zaman, provincial health secretary Ahmed Javed Qazi, Mujeeebur Rehman Shami, chairman of the PKLI Board of Governors Dr Saeed Akhtar and others attended the meeting.

Dr Akhtar briefed the prime minister about the performance of the institute. The meeting was informed that work was being done to enhance PKLI capacity for carrying out complicated surgeries. When the prime minister was told that 41 per cent patients were being treated free of charge at the institute, Mr Sharif said the system should be reformed in that at least 50pc patients get free treatment at the PKLI.

Published in Dawn, February 20th, 2023

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