Kingdom sends field hospitals, rescue teams to Pakistan

August 23, 2010

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz issued an urgent directive yesterday for the dispatch of two field hospitals to Pakistan to provide medical services to people affected by torrential rains and flooding. In a statement, Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan Abdulaziz Al-Ghadeer reported that the capacity of each hospital is 200 beds. Noting that the facilities are equipped with integrated medical equipment, he added, “Each hospital has an operating room, laboratory, pharmacy, intensive care unit room and X-ray room.”

King Abdullah issued an additional directive sending a rescue team from the Saudi Civil Defense and Border Guards to Pakistan to participate in rescue operations of people trapped by flooding. The first batch of team members arrived in Karachi today aboard three planes. According to Ambassador Al-Ghadeer, the Saudi rescue team will leave for Hyderabad to undertake relief work alongside the Pakistani Armed Forces in the Sindh region. Another batch of Saudi rescue workers will arrive in Pakistan on Tuesday.

Assistant Minister of Interior for Security Affairs Prince Mohammed bin Nayef bin Abdulaziz noted that the teams specialize in water rescue operations and are equipped with vehicles, heavy equipment, electricity generators, water purification stations, boats and other tools. Major-General Najmuddin Khan, the head of the Pakistani Army’s relief operations in the southern Sindh region, praised the support extended by the Kingdom, noting that it is the first country to send such a rescue team.

The dispatch of medical and emergency teams is part of a larger Saudi effort to assist Pakistan. A relief airlift consisting of 22 planes has already delivered supplies to flood victims, including food, blankets, electrical generators, tents, water, and medical supplies, worth $70 million.  Furthermore, as of Friday, Saudi assistance, including the government, citizens and corporations, have donated more than $106 million to the people affected by the flooding in Pakistan.

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