Seven UAE-funded hospitals and clinics will be built in Pakistan at a cost of nearly Dh63 million, Wam, the state news agency, reported yesterday.
After a signing ceremony between Abdullah Khalifa Al Ghafli, director of Emirati projects to assist Pakistan, and Maj Gen Zahir Shah, commander of the GOC 45th Engineers Division of the Pakistani Armed Forces, it was announced that two hospitals will be built under the names of Sheikh Khalifa and Sheikha Fatima.
Mr Al Ghafli said the UAE would also fund medical equipment for both hospitals and all of the clinics.
The increasing number of healthcare projects in Pakistan was a sign of the strong co-operation between Pakistan and the Emirates, said Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, chairwoman of the General Women's Union and of the Family Development Foundation.
"Pakistan was one of the first three countries in the world to recognise the UAE, following the declaration of the Union on December 2, 1971," she said.
Sheikha Fatima said the active role the UAE plays in places of crisis was due to the generosity of the president, Sheikh Khalifa.
"We thank Allah that when humanitarian work anywhere worldwide is mentioned, the name of the UAE comes up, thanks to its generosity and its strong commitment to shoulder its responsibilities and to preserve human dignity," she said.
She said the projects follow the president's statements that assistance should be provided to the people of Pakistan following last year's floods.
Last year, Sheikha Fatima, also the honorary chairwoman of the Red Crescent Authority (RCA), gave the organisation Dh5m to send aid to flood victims.
In February of this year, a medical team from the RCA and 400 local volunteers initiated a programme to provide measles and polio vaccines to Pakistani children.
The Campaign to Cure One Million Children, sponsored by Sheikha Fatima, also provided free medical treatment to more than five million children who suffered from malnutrition and digestive and respiratory diseases as a result of the flooding.
The UAE ambassador to Pakistan, Eissa Abdullah Al Nuaimi, noted that last month a UAE-funded school for 400 pupils was completed.
It will take 18 months to build the hospitals.