x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Gargash promises more aid for Swat valley

UAE pledges extra support for people displaced in the Swat Valley in Pakistan.

The UAE pledged additional support for people displaced by the unrest in the Swat valley in Pakistan yesterday when Dr Anwar Gargash, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, met Asif Ali Zardari, the president of Pakistan, in Islamabad. The state news agency, WAM, reported Dr Gargash as saying that a contribution by the Khalifa bin Zayed Charity Foundation, which WAM said was for US$30 million (Dh110m), "will boost its operation at Swat Valley whether by its presence on the ground or through its co-operation with international relief organisations".

Dr Gargash affirmed the UAE's commitment to delivering humanitarian assistance to the refugees, and said that the foundation was playing a critical role in this effort. Dr Gargash, who also toured the Shah Mansour camp, where there are 20,000 people from Swat valley, said: "Fighting extremism and terrorism requires mobilisation of efforts not only on the ground but also on the humanitarian field by efficient response to the human suffering which we are seeing now at Swat valley."

No one at the foundation or the Pakistani embassy in Abu Dhabi was available last night to confirm the US$30m donation. Meanwhile, the Pakistani embassy handed a cheque to the Red Crescent Authority towards its work in Pakistan, according to WAM, which did not give the value. "The UAE has been among the first aid providers to reach out to the affected people so as to meet their needs," said Shehzad Tahir, community welfare attache.

sbhattacharya@thenational.ae