A friend in need is a friend in deed, says UAE daily

ABU DHABI: The directive by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to provide urgent food and medical assistance to Pakistan after famine stalked the desert district of Tharparkar and triggered a humanitarian crisis has multidimensions. “The UAE is a leading humanitarian assistance donor in the region and the government has been standing behind people in need worldwide. The generous assistance made during the cyclone disaster in the Philippines corroborates that. Where Pakistan is concerned, the UAE’s generosity has been consistent and continuous,” observed UAE local daily, Khaleej Times, in its editorial on Friday.

It added that the recent 1,500 tonnes of basic food mobilised through the UAE Pakistan Assistance Programme (UAE PAP) comes close on the heels of an earlier tranche of assistance this year. In January, UAE PAP disbursed 1,600 tonnes of foodstuff among Pakistani families struggling with hunger and malnutrition in the wake of a severe winter and displacement due to floods and military operations.

Besides helping during disasters, the paper continued, the UAE PAP, launched in 2011, also seeks to provide development assistance to improve the quality of life in Pakistan. The work includes building roads and bridges, boosting education and health measures, and improving water supply.

It noted that there had been a needless controversy earlier that Pakistan had supported another bidder when countries sought to host the Expo 2020. But as the Pakistan government clarified subsequently, that support had been promised when the UAE had not entered the picture.

And now, “As the UAE government actions show, the UAE regards Pakistan as a brother and friend; controversies created by others have made no difference to the large-hearted munificence of its rulers,” the paper concluded.