ISLAMABAD: Launched on 12th January, 2011, on the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and with the continuous follow-up of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, UAE PAP, Project to Assist Pakistan, has the aim of helping Pakistan overcome the consequences of destructive torrential rains by rebuilding the infrastructure.
The project follows a comprehensive plan of rehabilitation that takes into account the rugged geographical topography and harsh weather conditions. The plan has four main pivots to rehabilitate the area and secure community development: roads and bridges, education, health and water supply. It also provides for additional efforts to offer humanitarian assistance to the unprivileged, poor and homeless.
In roads and bridges, two flood-wrecked bridges were rebuilt over the Swat River, in addition to a number of modern asphalt roads in southern and northern Waziristan. In education, UAE PAP built, reconstructed and rehabilitated 60 projects including schools, institutes and academic technical colleges for male and female students in remote areas. In health, 8 projects were carried out to build hospitals, health clinics and medical institutes. In water supply, 76 water treatment and purification plants were set up and to extend potable water pipes extended and humanitarian assistance, including foodstuff, dates, school back bags, was extended. Serums were provided and anti-measles and infantile paralysis campaigns organised.
The total cost of the projects carried out under Phases I and II of the UAE PAP plan amounted to US$320 million. The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development and the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation contributed a great part of the cost.
The UAE PAP mission is to execute development assistance projects that offer sustainability and continuous benefits to beneficiaries in the long run.
Development assistance projects of this kind are comprehensive by nature in order to help all sects, age groups and social classes of the Pakistani community, especially orphans, the handicapped, children, women, the elderly and the Pakistani people in general.
UAE PAP is a non-profit voluntary contribution project which offers multiple social, health, educational and economic assistance to the needy in various areas, cities and villages in Pakistan.
Its mission objectives include, but are not limited to, providing assistance to the people of Pakistan by developing poverty elimination programmes, upgrading the educational system/environment, upgrading medical services and the community health environment and helping to create job opportunities for Pakistani nationals in order to eliminate unemployment and improve the economic conditions.
UAE PAP has a broad scope for projects throughout its mandated region of operation which include the building of modern roads and bridges to help establish inter-province/inter-city access points and secure means of easier travel for all people.
To build, maintain and restore schools, colleges and academic institutions while helping to upgrade the educational infrastructure and prepare students to earn academic credentials and obtain training experience.
To build, renovate, maintain and refurbish hospitals, clinics and medical institutes to extend badly needed modern medical care to Pakistani families in order to alleviate their suffering and protect them against diseases and epidemics.
To build water treatment and purification plants, extend delivery networks to provide remote towns and villages with potable water and eliminate the problem of undrinkable water.
To deploy humanitarian assistance to the poor, orphans, needy and homeless, provide food and healthcare to help them overcome their ordeal.
UAE PAP adopted an all-out development plan to carry out vital projects to serve the Pakistani nation. The total cost of the projects in both phases has so far reached US$320 million.
Swat Valley and north-western areas of Pakistan were obliterated by the destructive seasonal floods which fully devastated the infrastructure, leaving the debris of destroyed bridges. It was impossible to travel across the Swat River, and the region was entirely cut off, making it impossible to deliver food, tents and medical supplies to the homeless in a timely manner. Inhabitants found it extremely hard to travel and had to suffer a real ordeal by having to use remote unmaintained roads and unconventional means of transport.
With no tarmac roads available, the inhabitants of South Waziristan suffered a similar ordeal, which had a heavy toll on them socially, economically and educationally. For this reason, the region lost any hope for development.
UAE PAP carried out four road and bridge projects at a cost of $12,158,000, which included the reconstruction of two flood-destroyed bridges on the Swat River and building two new roads in South and North Waziristan.
These are amongst the most vital projects with a huge contribution to the development of infrastructure in remote areas in Pakistan. They also help in the social, economic, educational and health development of the targeted areas.
Of particular significance is the reconstruction of the Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Bridge which was originally constructed 40 years ago but destroyed by floods, leaving many villagers cut off and without necessary relief or supplies. The bridge is the most important in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, a main artery for provincial inhabitants and a vital link to the provincial highway. The 330 meter-long, 10 meter-wide, 6 meter-high bridge has a capacity of more than 5,000 vehicles daily and serves as many as 70,000 commuters.
As for the technical specifications, all metal works were fabricated in the United Kingdom, and special technical and engineering specifications were applied in the manufacturing and erection processes as per international standards, including seismic and flood resistance, by supporting river banks with a 900 meter-long water barrier. Anti-erosion, rust and humidity reinforced concrete bases support the bridge which was supplied with a solar powered lighting system. Management and operation facilities were built and a pedestrian lane, parallel to the vehicles, was added. The project cost $12,460,000.
Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Bridge is a new architectural landmark in the heart of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, and its strategic location on the Swat River makes it an indispensable part of the Province’s main road network and a tourist attraction, thanks to its unique aesthetic design which is similar to the one used for the Al Maqtaa Bridge in Abu Dhabi. It boasts a beautiful heritage-oriented look with historical crenelated fortress structures at both ends which incorporates age-old traditions of the UAE infused in a modern state-of-the-art design and manufacturing process.
This vital bridge was named after the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan as a sign of gratitude, recognition and appreciation of his significant generous development efforts to assist the people of Pakistan over the years. His Highness was a solid supporter of Pakistan and was keen to help Pakistanis achieve progress and development in various humanitarian, developmental and cultural aspects.
The Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Bridge was also destroyed by the floods, leaving many villagers cut off and without necessary relief or supplies. The bridge is also important in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, as it provides a main artery for provincial inhabitants and a vital link to the provincial highway. The 448 meter-long, 10.7 meter-wide, 7 meter-high bridge has a capacity of more than 4,000 vehicles per day and serves as many as 2,000,000 commuters in an area of 1,235 square kilometres.
Again, special technical and engineering specifications were applied in the manufacturing and erection processes as per international standards, including seismic and flood resistance by supporting the river banks with a 1,300 meter-long water barrier. Anti-erosion, rust and humidity reinforced concrete bases support the bridge which was also supplied with a solar powered lighting system. Management and operation facilities were built and a pedestrian walkway was added. The project cost $10,510,000.
Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Bridge is now an architectural landmark and tourist attraction, thanks to its unique aesthetic design with a facsimile of the Al Jahli Castle built at the entrance to the bridge. The castle design is historically attached to the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan as a copy of the one in Al Ain, close to where he grew up and spent his childhood. This historically marked the beginning of the leader’s march that was crowned with the union of the UAE and the unity of all UAE people under the leadership of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Road is the largest and most important modern development project. It is the first step toward progress and prosperity in South Waziristan where it will help stimulate social, economic, educational and health development, and have a direct bearing on the development and welfare of the local inhabitants in the region and FATA Province.
Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Road acquires its importance as a vital tarmac road which extends from Wana to Angoor Addah in South Waziristan. It has a positive effect on improving road transport and linking together towns and villages which, due to the extreme topography, have difficulty connecting to the main cities. It also reduces the travel expenses of individuals and their goods to their main distribution outlets. It encourages social communication and unity among locals, provides a quick but safe means of transport for hospitals, colleges, academic institutions and government agencies/directorates, and serves as a third strategic crossing between Pakistan and Afghanistan, cutting the distance between Karachi and Kabul by about 400 kilometres.
The 50 kilometre-long, 9 meter-wide Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Road boasts ultra-modern engineering and technical specifications. It has 5 bridges, 105 sewers, side protection walls, 16.8 kilometre-long cement beams, and is 4,800-8,600 feet above sea level. Topography-wise, 50% of the road passes through valleys and 50% through mountainous terrain. The gross cost of the road amounted to $38.01 million.
The geographically mountainous work site, rugged as it may be and with harsh weather conditions, especially in winter, was no obstacle to accomplishing the mission as per modern technical and engineering specifications to achieve world standards.
Today, the inhabitants of South Waziristan find life more convenient and are able to travel easily and enjoy the exquisite scenery along Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Road which provides them with a new artery for life and modern culture.
The Makeen-Miranshah Road is a modern development project being carried out in both South and North Waziristan. It is a vital transportation project that links Makeen in the north of South Waziristan with Miranshah in the northern FATA Province, and serves the inhabitants of 3 towns and 20 villages.
The 72 kilometre-long, 9 meter-wide Makeen-Miranshah Road cuts through one of the most difficult and rigid mountainous areas, and crosses over 10 bridges, each being 10.4 meters wide. The bridge, which has 172 sewers, side protection walls, and 26.2 kilometre-long cement beams, cost $ 60,600 million.
Educational premises were severely hit and devastated by seasonal floods and military operations, leaving local students short of schools and forced to study in the open air, in tents, on roof-tops or in make-shift venues. The situation worsened in winters due to the harsh weather conditions.
Students had to move as they could not afford excessive living costs, and with the transportation infrastructure severely damaged, it would take them hours to get to make-shift schools. It became even worse for girls who could not commute to distant schools. Ambitions and dreams of a better life were washed away by floods, thus making students of stricken areas suffer the loss of a full academic year due to lack of schools, universities and institutes.
UAE PAP took the initiative to help Pakistan by building and equipping 60 educational projects to modern international standards. This initiative was taken upon the directives of UAE President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to support and upgrade the educational infrastructure in Pakistan and build proper facilities for students to study in a convenient environment.
The directives of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed resulted in the sponsorship of 53 projects as a first stage to absorb 30,000 students. As many as 43 primary to secondary schools and 10 technical colleges and institutes were built under this project.
Stage II is being carried out to set up and upgrade 3 colleges and 4 new women’s rehabilitation centers at a total cost of $14.4 million.
Educational projects were carried out in a number of regions in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, South Waziristan, Bajaur and Mohmand Agency, where students had lost their schools and had to make an exhaustive trip on a daily basis in order to reach schools in remote locations.
Under the plan carried out by the U.A.E. to upgrade primary, higher and academic education in Pakistan, newly built schools, colleges and institutes were equipped with the latest educational aids and academic and computer labs to enable students to learn modern science on the latest equipment from primary up to higher-studies stages. Workshops equipped with practical and technical training equipment and all the requirements for diploma-level students were also provided.
Schools built in those regions represent a huge contribution by the UAE. The generous humanitarian initiatives of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa played an active role in the academic and cultural rehabilitation and upgrading of the individual, a role these educational institutions will pursue and extend to a new generation of the Pakistani people, one adequately capable of meeting future challenges.
The Women’s Vocational Training and Rehabilitation Centre (WVTRC), the first of its kind, was set up in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa at a total cost of $481,649. The 25,000 square feet centre was equipped with the latest specialist machines and equipment to train women in sewing, embroidery, leather ware, design and decoration. The centre also offers training courses in designing artifacts, sewing and tailoring, beauty and wax making, cooking and first aid.
The centre serves to empower Swati women and help them run their houses financially by acquiring modern training-based skills. At the female trainees request, and to ensure their safe travel from and to the centre in difficult conditions, a new bus was gifted by UAE PAP management to alleviate their suffering.
Bajaur College of Technology (BCT) was designed to contribute to the all-round development of the individual and the community in Pakistan. It is a valuable essential asset to improve the living conditions of the youth and open the labour market for them. BCT’s mission is to train and raise the skills of high school graduates and prepare them to be effective elements in the community, capable of raising their own technical and practical skills and becoming self-dependent. BCT is also destined to play a leading role in boosting industrial and agricultural development to the highest level possible. Key to this development is to prepare and upgrade well-trained manpower which is capable of handling modern technology in various specialties, a mission accomplished by BCT which boasts the latest educational aids, programmes and vocational training.
BCT, which cost $3.418 million, spans 45,000 square feet and accommodates a number of halls, workshops and laboratories equipped with the latest education and training machines and equipment, in addition to specialist departments for mining, mechanics, industry, electricity and technical skills. BCT is qualified to train and graduate as many as 500 students every year.
Jahanzeb Post Graduate Degree College (JPC), the oldest educational institution in Malakand, was established in 1952 to grant degrees in 7 specialist branches, and it accommodates 300 students. JPC was rebuilt on an area of 3,577 square meters to house modern academic departments. The new facility has a main lecture auditorium, 10 classrooms, 4 laboratories, 16 teaching and administrative staff offices and an administration building. The project was completed at a cost of $1.209 million.
Warsak College is a new institution built near Peshawar to offer specialised education to top high school achievers to prepare them to enter the fields of medicine, engineering and computing. The 600 student College celebrates the graduation of 120 students yearly, and offers a 5 year course of study leading to High School Certificate duly certified by the Peshawar Preparatory and Secondary Education Board qualifying graduates to enroll in university Bachelor Degree courses.
The facility consists of an academic department, gymnasium, a mosque, a main lecture room, 12 classrooms, 3 laboratories, 8 teaching and administrative staff offices, teacher-student dormitory and a dining room. The project cost $2.017m and Stage II of development was started at a total cost of $3.025m.
Wana College is a new facility, the first of its kind in South Waziristan, which offers a specialist education to top secondary school students to qualify them to join colleges of medicine, engineering and computer science. The 3,623 square meter college, which accommodates 500 students, offers a 5 year-course of study. The facility has an academic section, a gym, a mosque, a main lecture hall, 6 classrooms, 4 laboratories, 12 teaching and administrative staff offices, teacher-student dormitories and a dining room. The project cost $2.383m. Work is underway for Stage II at a total cost of $3.025m.
Spinkai Raghzai College is situated in Gand Wala, Southern Waziristanm, where English and Urdu are the chosen languages of teaching. The College curricula were prepared by the Preparatory and Secondary Education Board in Deirat Ismail Khan. The College has 3 majors for medical, engineering and computer science prequalification for prep grade students who must have finished grade 7 and be 12-13 years old in order to be eligible for admission.
The College accommodates 400 students, of whom 80 graduate yearly. It offers a 5 year course of study leading to High School Certificate duly certified by the Peshawar Preparatory and Secondary Education Board qualifying graduates to enroll in university Bachelor Degree courses. The College, which serves the locals in Southern Waziristan, Tank, Gandola, Deirat Ismail and Banwa, has an administrative department, two academic departments, 4 dormitories for students, a dining room, lecture rooms, a hospital, a mosque, administrator-teacher dormitories, sports grounds and an equestrian club.
Wadudia Model School (WMS) was built as a first-of-its-kind facility in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province to accommodate 685 students. The 1,545 square meter, 2 story-school has a main lecture room, 16 classrooms, a computer lab, 3 science laboratories, teacher-administrator offices and modern sports grounds. The school has been equipped with modern educational aids, computers and science lab equipment. WMS cost $500,000.
Wana Model School was built as a first-of-its-kind facility in South Waziristan to accommodate 150 students. The 774 square meter, 2 story-school has a main lecture room, 5 classrooms, a computer lab, library, teacher-administrator offices and modern sports grounds. The school was equipped with modern educational aids, computers and science lab equipment. The school cost $500,000.
Even before the devastating floods struck Pakistan in 2010, not all inhabitants in the region had access to proper health services. Women and children were the most deprived of comprehensive medical care, bringing about a high mortality rate due to lack of medical supervision in maternity cases, lack of medicine, and malnutrition.
Floods were the final stroke to the remaining medical services, and delay in delivering first aid supplies caused many avoidable deaths. Pain and sorrow were rampant due to a severe lack of medical supplies and rescue teams. Patients had to walk several miles to reach medical clinics, with many especially women, children and the elderly – unable to travel or afford medical treatment because of the deteriorating economic conditions.
UAE PAP sponsored health projects were top priority in the UAE PAP humanitarian plans as the UAE political leadership, represented by the President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, firmly believed that there was dire need to support Pakistan’s health sector in order to exercise its role in extending medical service and improve public health, especially in distant areas where the lack of basic and vital services was severe.
UAE PAP management sponsored a number of health programmes and projects to boost Pakistan’s Health Ministry efforts and capabilities to upgrade medical services. The sponsorship provided for the setting up of, equipping and maintaining 8 hospitals/clinics in Islamabad, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, South Waziristan and Bajaur at a total cost of $125,887,000. These projects were carried out to modern international standards, architecturally and technically, to provide high class medical care, and enable hospitals to competently extend medical treatment to those in need. Clinics were fully supplied with equipment necessary to run medical examinations, offer modern diagnosis and extend a high quality, integrated service to the locals.
Special attention was given to extending healthcare to women and children as a cornerstone of family health. Two model hospitals were approved to offer treatment to women, children and emergency cases: Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Hospital in Saidu Sharif, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Sheikha Fatima bin Mubarak Hospital which is being built in South Waziristan.
Built at a cost of $108 million, the Emirates Hospital, one of the largest health projects built in Pakistan in recent years, is a specialist hospital in the capital, Islamabad, and is designed to receive critical cases referred by other hospitals. Equipped with the latest medical laboratories and equipment to provide the best medical care, the Emirates Hospital will be academically approved to train interns. It accommodates 1,000 beds to receive up to 6,000 patients daily (2 million each year) and 16 well-equipped operation theaters capable of executing 50 surgical procedures daily.
The 5,430 square meter, 100-bed Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Hospital was set up in Saidu Sharif, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. It consists of departments as varied as general medicine, gynaecology, maternity, paediatrics and emergency, in addition to operation theatres, admission wards and intensive care units (ICU s).
The 4,330 square meter, 50-bed Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Hospital, which is being built in Sholam, South Waziristan, consists of an out-patient clinic, gynaecology, maternity, paediatrics and emergency departments. The Hospital boasts a kidney dialysis centre and a preventive medicine unit (both of these being the first of their kind in the region), infantile inoculation, operation theatres, admission wardens and intensive care units (ICU s).
The 1,762 square meter, 70-bed Bajaur Hospital accommodates a number of specialised departments to conduct medical examinations for men, women and children. The 2-story Hospital has two patient units for quarantine, two for surgery, one for kidney dialysis, a brain image analysis unit (BIAU) and 14 patient care and nursing rooms. It has psychology, chest disease and urology departments, outpatient clinics and emergency wardens. The hospital serves around 800.000 patients in Bajaur, Lower Dir and Mohmand tribal areas.
The Medical Institute, Saidu Sharif, holds academic courses in health, pharmaceuticals, dentistry, pathology, surgery, child care, physiotherapy, anesthesia, X-ray, cardiology, psychology, contagious diseases, kidney dialysis, ophthalmology, emergency and neurology.
The two year course of study combines theoretical as well as practical training, and students, who must obtain High School Certificate (Science Section), are shortlisted on merit and competence basis. 50% of seats are set aside for females.
The Institute has 300 students who obtain, upon graduation, a health service diploma, and the Institute is planning to join with Khyber University where graduates would obtain Bachelor’s Degrees in Health Sciences.
The Swat Valley was not spared by the heavy rain and floods which hit north-western Pakistan in 2010. Reinforced concrete bridges, roads and buildings were swept away by torrential rain, and the situation was worsened by fears of diseases resultant from stale water and infrastructure badly devastated by floods. Also hit were power supply networks, leaving water purification plants inoperative and inhabitants unable to get purified potable water. Making potable water available was crucial for the majority of inhabitants who had to travel several miles to secure their needs.
Floods triggered sewage problems which helped to spread serious diseases, thus making combatting disease a top priority with cases of diarrhoea, hepatitis and cholera rising steadily.
Within the framework of efforts intended to make available purified potable water, UAE PAP implemented 76 projects, including 44 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 20 in South Waziristan, 10 in Mohmand Agency and 2 in Southern Waziristan at a total cost of $6,973,000.
Stage I provided for the execution of 64 projects, including 44 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 20 in South Waziristan at a cost of $5,774,000. Twelve projects were carried out in Stage II, including 10 in Mohmand Agency and 2 in South Waziristan at a total cost of $1,200,000.
These projects covered digging wells, building water desalination plants, tanks and pumps and extending potable water pipe networks to some 10,000 beneficiaries.
Floods forced many families in remote areas to relocate inland near the main cities. Many had lost their homes, and orphans and widows needed shelter, food and medical care.
On the humanitarian front, UAE PAP provided relief, food, school bags and serums and launched awareness campaigns to fight diseases and epidemics. Food baskets were distributed to alleviate the suffering of the homeless in vast areas of Pakistan. Fifty five tons of dates were distributed to poor and needy families in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and South Waziristan.
In implementation of the directives of the UAE President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to deliver food assistance to the needy and the poor in order to alleviate their suffering and offer them a decent life, The UAE PAP management offered Pakistan 63,000 baskets of food at a total cost of US$3.138 million to distribute to the homeless hit by floods and military operations in 2012/2013. Fifty five tons of dates were distributed to the poor and the needy in various areas and provinces.
Within the framework of the UAE s efforts to promote and support child education and provide a suitable teaching environment, the UAE PAP management distributed 60,000 school bags, filled with all necessary items and notebooks with an introduction of the UAE, to pupils of low-income and poor families and orphans in 2012/2013. Towns and villages in Swat Valley are now teeming with male and female students heading for their schools carrying UAE PAP bags: a visual testament to the support being offered by the UAE.
In the framework of the UAE’s efforts to eradicate polio in Pakistan, and as per the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and the initiative of His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the UAE vaccination campaign was launched and was crowned by success resulting in the vaccination of 13,283,701 Pakistani children against polio during the months of June, July, August and September, 2014.
The UAE campaign exceeded the target in 25 areas in a record time in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and other mountainous areas. The campaign backs the international initiative of the World Health Assembly to eradicate polio by the end of 2018 and the national emergency plan of the Government of Pakistan to eradicate polio. The UAE’s campaign is vital for the eradication of polio not only in Pakistan but at the world level.