Chinese embassy donates civil goods to Pakistan army

ISLAMABAD, April 6 (INP): Chinese Embassy to Pakistan donated a number of civil goods to the Pakistani army stationed in the northwest Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) to improve their living and working conditions.

In a ceremony of handover held here in the embassy, Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing spoke highly of the Pakistani army’s contribution to the maintenance of the country’s security and appreciated the army’s role in facilitating the development of China-Pakistan friendship and protecting the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

The bilateral military relations are an important content of the all-weather strategic cooperative partnership and the Chinese side will further boost the friendly cooperation with the Pakistani army and the government, support the country’s efforts in maintain its security and keep providing necessary supports to Pakistan, he added.

According to the embassy, the civil goods included generators, electrical fans and tents.

Muhammad Ajmal Iqbal, director general of Engineers at the Pakistan army’s general headquarters, thanked the support and aid from the Chinese Embassy, saying that bilateral relations are tested by many challenges and the ties between the two countries will be further enhanced.

Earlier, in a unique example of south-south collaboration, the People’s Republic of China and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Pakistan signed a US$4 million agreement to provide assistance over four months in areas of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Balochistan that have been affected by natural and human-made crises.

The “China South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund for the Recovery Project in FATA and Balochistan” will help 8,100 families returning to the areas affected by insecurity in FATA to rebuild their lives. In Balochistan, about 19,000 school children will benefit as schools that were damaged in the 2010–2011 floods are refurbished.

Yao Jing said, “The successful launching of this project renews our commitment to deliver strong support to the people of Pakistan. In future, China will continue to increase the Grant Assistance to Pakistan, enriching the categories and sectors, expanding the input into areas with pressing demands including FATA and Balochistan.”

Muhammad Aslam Chaudhry, Joint Secretary, Economic Affairs Division, said, “we are thankful to the Government of China for this initiative to provide immediate response to meet the needs of communities in FATA and Balochistan. This project would support the people in restoration of livelihoods and help to rebuild their lives.”

Ignacio Artaza, UNDP Pakistan Country Director, said, “FATA and Balochistan are amongst the country’s least developed regions and, in recent years, have been severely affected by disasters. This support from China will help temporarily displaced families get back on their feet as they return home after years of uncertainty, and help ensure that schools in Balochistan meet the necessary conditions to keep young students in school.”

The recovery project is supported by the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) of the People’s Republic of China and implemented by UNDP. The project aims to provide immediate response to meet the needs of the affected individual and communities through the distribution of essential supplies for the restoration of livelihoods.

This initiative builds on UNDP’s ongoing support for early recovery and rehabilitation of affected populations in Pakistan and will provide 56,700 people (8,100 families) in Kurram, South Waziristan, North Waziristan, Khyber and Orakzai Agencies with construction kits to rebuild their homes, as well as essential household items.

In Balochistan’s Naseerabad, Jafferabad and Sohbatpur districts, which were the worst affected by the 2010–2011 floods, 375 schools will receive new furniture and education kits.

The project will be implemented in partnership with government stakeholders including the Disaster Management Authority, FATA Secretariat and Temporarily Displaced People Secretariat in FATA, and in Balochistan the Departments of Education and Planning and Development.