Relief operations continue in quake zone
MANSEHRA: The central relief coordinator of Al Khidmat and former Karachi city Nazim Naimatullah Khan Advocate said that Jaamat-i-Islami would not leave the quake survivors alone and the relief activities by Al Khidmat Foundation would continue till the normalization of situation.He was talking to quake survivors in the villages of Dehari and Thor of district Batgram.
Naimatullah said that Jaamat Islami to build 10,000 shelter homes and construction of these shelters underway in the affected areas. The locals informed him that Al Khidmat Foundation had distributed C.I. sheets among the quake victims for construction of shelter homes.
Snowfall, rains forecast in quake zone today
ISLAMABAD: The Meteorological Department has predicted rains and snowfall in quake-hit areas on Saturday. Land sliding may create obstacles in relief activities. The affected areas included Muzaffarabad, Rawla Kot, Bagh , Neelum Valley, Balakot, Manshera, Batgram, Kaghan, Naran and adjacent areas. The Met department predicted light showers in the isolated places of Balochistan, Frontier , Punjab, Western Sindh and Kashmir and snowfall in mountainous areas within 24 hours. Thick fog also forecast in these areas.
Quake to badly hit balance of payments
KARACHI: The State Bank of Pakistan has identified
four major areas of the national economy, which would
be badly affected by the earthquake-related flows into
These sectors include trade and services account,
income account, current transfers and capital and
financial account, the central bank said in its first
quarter (July-Sept) report released on Friday.
Analysing the overall effect of the devastating Oct 8
earthquake on the balance of payments of the country,
the central bank said quake-related imports would have
a bad impact on the trade and services account.
The import of medicines, fuel, tents, tarpaulin,
blankets, construction machinery and material is
expected to rise in the wake of the ongoing relief and
future rehabilitation operations.
This, according to the central bank, would have an
adverse effect on the services account due to the rise
in freight charges.
The SBP said the (foreign) inflows would continue for
a number of years, adding the income account would
also witness higher net interest payments on external
debt once the loans so far pledged by the
international community were realised.
The resident foreign currency accounts are also
expected to see higher inflows as direct aid flows to
the NGOs are likely to be deposited in that account.
Official transfers are also expected to rise with the
inflow of committed cash grants.
Project grants and non-food aid, however, did not have
a material adverse impact on debt sustainability
indicators, the State Bank said.
Medical superintendents rule out pilferage of donations for quake victims
RAWALPINDI: Administrations of the three teaching
hospitals have maintained a foolproof record of
donations and relief goods reaching them for October 8
quake survivors, leaving no room for pilferage, all
the three medical superintendents claimed while
talking to ‘The News’ here Friday.
For the treatment of quake victims the three hospitals
including Rawalpindi General Hospital, Holy Family
Hospital and District Headquarters Hospital (Civil
Hospital) have utilised nearly 50.5 per cent of
resources from the budget allocated to them by the
government in routine while around 49.5 per cent from
donations, ‘The News’ has learnt.
In the wake of the massive earthquake, the hospitals
received huge donations by Pakistani and foreign
individuals, local welfare associations and
non-governmental national and international
organisations. The medical superintendents strongly
rejected the doubts among public that administrations
at all levels were involved in any pilferage.
Medical Superintendent at Holy Family Hospital Dr.
Mohammad Husain Baloch told ‘The News’ Friday that
he had formed a special team under supervision of
Professor of Medicine at Rawalpindi Medical College
Dr. Mohammad Umar to manage a proper record of
donations with necessary check and balance.
"We have not left even zero per cent chance of
pilferage. Two deputy medical superintendents at Holy
Family Hospital stores are members of the team that
strictly monitor donated medicines, equipment (medical
instruments including external and internal fixators)
and food items. We keep the whole record of donations
updated and computerised," Dr. Baloch said. He
said that he had already sent the detailed list of
donated items to Principal RMC/ Allied Hospitals
Professor Dr. Mohammad Mussadiq Khan.
Medical Superintendent at Rawalpindi General Hospital
Dr. Habib Ahmed Khan said that though his staff was
highly committed, even then he made special
arrangements for keeping donations’ record
completely transparent. "I myself looked into the
whole process of computerisation of donated
items," he said.
He said that Additional Medical Superintendents (AMS)
at RGH Dr. Shahzad Rehan and Dr. Khalid Randhawa
supervised the donations made in the form of monetary
funding while AMS Dr. Fauzia monitored the donations
in the form of daily use commodities for victims made
by national and international organisations and
individuals. "AMS Dr. Shahid Butt is monitoring
the equipment donations while pharmacist Nadia
Choudhary with a strict check and balance system is
monitoring the donations, we have been receiving in
the form of medicines," he said.
Responding to a query, Dr. Habib said that they have
sent one list of donations received by them at RGH to
principal office almost a month back and updating the
list as well, "as we are still receiving
donations," he said.
Medical Superintendent at District Headquarters
Hospital Dr. Khalid Iqbal Malik said that pilferage
would only be possible if they have not opted
computerised system of receiving donations. "We
enter every thing, received as a donation, into a
computerised list soon after we receive it. I myself
is supervising the whole operation along with a
special team," he said.
Responding to a query, he said that his hospital had
already sent a list of received donations to principal
office while still updating another list in case of
any new donation. "We have already brought into
the principal’s notice that how much resources we
have utilised from allocated budget and how much from
donations for the treatment of quake survivors,"
Volunteers briefed on basic techniques to help mentally disturbed quake victims
RAWALPINDI: Experts, psychiatrists delivered lectures
to volunteers Friday on the first day of a two-day
training workshop on mental health and psychosocial
relief for October 8 quake survivors at the Institute
of Psychiatry & World Health Organization (WHO)
Collaborating Centre for Mental Health at Rawalpindi
General Hospital here.
Head of the Institute of Psychiatry Professor Dr.
Fareed Aslam Minhas inaugurating the workshop stressed
the need for services from psychiatrists,
psychologists and trained psycho-sociologists at this
crucial hour, in the post disaster era. He tried to
make volunteers aware of various basic techniques
involved in treating and handling earthquake survivors
who have been suffering from various mental disorders
at different levels.
Nearly 20 volunteers attended the training workshop.
All these volunteers belonging to different colleges
and universities have already been working in the
worst hit remote areas of Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK)
and Hazara Division. Most of them have already been
engaged helping professionals mostly from medical
field in Kotli, AJK during rescue and rehabilitation
Mental Health Officer at WHO Dr. Khalid Saeed through
his lecture highlighted a number of modern but basic
techniques that are being used these days for
psychosocial first aid to population after a disaster
in the world.
The experts briefed the volunteers on various mental
disorders like stress related disorders, acute stress
reactions, anxiety, adjustment and panic disorders,
the most commonly mental sufferings developed in
maximum number of diagnosed psychiatric victims so
far. Dr. Fareed Minhas, Dr. Khalid Saeed, Dr. Munir
Slatch and Dr. Asad Tameezuddin are facilitating the
Dr. Minhas told ‘The News’ Friday that they are
training the participants for working specifically in
the remote and worst hit areas where most of the
population have been suffering with mental illness.
"October 8 quake, as I have already said time and
again, not only involves health sector but also
affects people from various other key sectors of life
like education and social welfare. Mental health
relief efforts should be given high attention at both
the national and international levels," he said.
"We are severely lacking psychiatrists in
Pakistan and in such circumstances, training to
volunteers on the subject would help professionals
treating thousands of victims suffering from mental
disorders," Dr. Minhas said.
Meeting reviews provision of healthcare facilities in quake-hit
PESHAWAR: Ordering for establishment of efficient
linkages among EDOs of the quake-affected districts of
the province and health directorate for quick
transmission of information, the NWFP Minister for
Health, Inayatullah has warned that EDOs failing to
communicate required data to the department in time
would be dealt properly.
He issued these directives while presiding over a high
level meeting convened to review provision of health
services and efforts taken for rehabilitation of the
damaged health infrastructure in the quake-hit areas
in the Committee Room of Health Secretariat Peshawar
Friday. Provincial secretary for heath, DG health
services, EDOs of the concerned districts and
representatives of WHO, UNICEF, Save the Children
Fund, UNFPA and GTZ participated the meeting.
The meeting was informed that health services were
being provided regularly in the affected areas while
immunisation and sanitation were being given proper
attention to avert outbreak of epidemic in the area.
It was further disclosed that not only sites were
identified for restoration of health facilities in
these areas but list of priorities was also prepared
in this regard. The meeting was briefed that WHO and
UNICEF would jointly construct 40 prefabricated
hospitals in the affected districts of the province,
while some other donor agencies had also pledged to
restore the health facilities in the earthquake-hit
The meeting was also informed that Save the Children
would distribute tents, blankets and household kits
among 124 lady health workers in tehsil Allai district
Battagram whose houses had been damaged due to
PBF plans to help establish school in quake-affected area
KARACHI: The Pakistan Bridge Federations (PBF), with
the collaboration of The Citizens Foundation (TCF),
plans to set up a school in the Northern Areas of the
country, devastated by the October 8 earthquake.
Rehana Saigol, President, PBF, during an exclusive
interview with ‘The News’ on Friday, revealed the
federation, which has announced to hold an Individual
Pairs Tournament in aid of the earthquake victims here
at the Karachi Gymkhana on January 4, has the plans to
help build a school in the affected areas.
"The PBF members are of the opinion that we
should be coming up with something of a lasting
contribution for the earthquake victims. And we’ve
come to the conclusion that building a school there
would help the area people in some way. Ideally we
would like to have a secondary school but we may even
settle with a primary school at this stage if adequate
funds are not raised in near future," she
"We haven’t set any target for the January 4
event but we hope to raise a decent amount. Similarly
we look forward to receiving a substantial donation
through the fund-raiser being organised by the World
Bridge Federation (WBF) later in January," Rehana
She acknowledged the support of the legendary Zia
Mahmood in motivating the bridge community to
contribute generously to the noble cause. Zia,
currently in Karachi, has volunteered to play with or
against all the players who register in the Individual
Pairs event at the Karachi Gymkhana on Wednesday.
Although the entry fee would be Rs. 500 per person,
the participants will be urged to donate generously to
PBF Earthquake Relief Fund.
When enquired about the costs for developing a school
in Northern Areas, Rehana said something around rupees
five million was needed for setting up a primary
"We’ll continue holding fund raisers for the
earthquake victims even after the January events of
the PBF and the WBF. We are aware of the fact that a
huge amount of fund is needed for the rehabilitation
of the people in the affected areas. So we’ve
planned to hold events for generating funds through
the coming year (2006)," she added. "As soon
as the funds are with us, we would approach the TCF
which is a professionally managed, not-for-profit
organisation, having the desired infrastructure to
build and operate schools," she stated.
Established in August 1995, the TCF was set up by a
group of citizens, concerned by the dismal state of
education in Pakistan. The TCF runs its network of
well-managed, purpose-built schools in urban slums and
rural areas across Pakistan and serves all persons and
communities on a completely non-discriminatory basis.
The TCF’s mission is to promote mass-scale quality
education at the primary and secondary levels in an
environment that encourages intellectual, moral and
TCF is currently headed by Lt Gen Syed Pervez Shahid,
who has had an outstanding record in academics as well
as in extra-curricular activities, ever since his stay
as a student at Cadet College Petaro.