Pakistan sets up Cabinet committee to oversee funds, goods collection for Türkiye's quake victims

Convoy of trucks carrying tents, blankets, medicines, other essential items will soon be sent to Türkiye, says Premier Shehbaz

Aamir Latif  | 09.02.2023 - Update : 09.02.2023
Pakistan sets up Cabinet committee to oversee funds, goods collection for Türkiye's quake victims

KARACHI, Pakistan

Pakistan's Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday formed a special Cabinet Committee to oversee the collection of funds and relief goods for the earthquake victims of Türkiye and Syria.

Planning and Development Minister Ahsan Iqbal will head the committee, while Railway and Aviation Minister Khawaja Saad Rafiq, Education Minister Rana Tanvir, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb, Religious Affairs Minister Mufti Abdul Shakoor, Prime Minister's Adviser on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi, Pakistan's ambassadors to Türkiye and Syria, and head of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) will serve as members, said a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.

At least 16,546 people were killed and 66,132 others injured by two strong earthquakes which jolted southern Türkiye on Monday, the country's disaster agency said on Thursday. Also in Syria, over 2,802 people were killed and thousands injured.

Sharif announced the formation of the committee during a meeting held to review and discuss ways to accelerate the ongoing funds and relief goods collection campaign in the capital Islamabad.

The committee will be meeting on daily basis to ensure the timely delivery of funds and relief items to the earthquake-hit regions of the two countries.

Sharif said another fundraising campaign for earthquake victims will soon be launched in schools, colleges, and universities across the country.

He directed the NDMA to set up centers in each district of the country for the collection of relief goods.

Calling upon philanthropists to donate "generously," he said people could deposit funds and relief items at NDMA collection centers, which will be sent by air, road, and sea to Türkiye and Syria.

A convoy of trucks, he further said, will soon be dispatched to Türkiye to deliver tents, blankets, medicines, and other essential items.

A second mobile hospital along with a medical mission is also set to be dispatched to Türkiye, he maintained.

“Turkiye has stood alongside (us) in every testing hour, including in the 2005 earthquake, and 2010, and 2022 super floods,” Sharif observed, adding that Islamabad will do "whatever it could" for Türkiye despite its limited resources.

Pakistan Army and civilian rescue teams are already operating in the earthquake-stricken areas.

Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Senator Ishaq Dar visited the Turkish Embassy in Islamabad and recorded his heartfelt condolences and sympathies in the condolence book over human and material losses in the deadly earthquakes.

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