ISLAMABAD: King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) launched on Wednesday a $1.26 million winter relief project to help over 135,000 people northwestern Pakistan.
KSRelief provides humanitarian and development support to millions of beneficiaries in more than 49 countries. Pakistan is the fifth-largest recipient of assistance from the Saudi-based international agency and has received more than $120 million in aid since 2005.
“We are continuing our relief mission in Pakistan. This project comes under the umbrella of humanitarian projects by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, represented by KSRelief, to assist needy families living in the coldest areas in north of Pakistan,” Dr. Khalid Al-Othmani, director of KSRelief Pakistan, told Arab News at the project’s inauguration ceremony in Islamabad.
He said each relief package will comprise quilts, shawls, socks and warmers for families in Pakistan's colder regions such Chitral, Swat and Shangla in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province where winter is usually severe.
KSRelief will collaborate with the National Disaster Management Authority and provincial government to distribute the aid.
“Under this winter relief project, 22,550 winter kits will be distributed among poor and deserving people living in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,” Saudi Ambassador Nawaf bin Said Al-Malki told Arab News during the inauguration ceremony.
He added that since historic Saudi-Pakistani relations have become "deeper with the passage of time," a high-level Saudi delegation is going to visit Islamabad soon.
“High-level delegations are coming to Pakistan from the kingdom very soon. The delegation will consist of high officials of energy ministry, foreign ministry and others. A Pakistani delegation will also visit the kingdom after that. The bilateral relations will further strengthen through these visits," the ambassador said.
Pakistani officials welcomed the upcoming relief program as showing "special attachment" between the two countries.
“These projects reflect special attachment between the two countries. This shows the care for Pakistanis from our Saudi brothers,” Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Shah Farman told Arab News.
"The people of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are very much connected both emotionally and religiously. They have special feeling for each other, particularly Pakistanis have very special feeling for that holy land."