Pakistan Earthquake Report No.
December 22, 2005
8 earthquake in Pakistan, through the tireless efforts of ERFO trustee, Dr.
Reza Naghavi, Earthquake Relief Fund for Orphans (ERFO) started mobilizing
aids to earthquake victims in an unprecedented and major way. Within the
first couple of weeks ERFO sent 500 tents and 10,000 blankets to the Earthquake
Relief Authorities (ERA) in Pakistan. This was followed by sending several
tons of medications, medical equipment, packaged foods, blankets, and winter
clothing, valued close to $10,000,000 to the ERA in Islamabad. Pakistan International
Airline (PIA) in New York agreed to deliver donated materials free of charge.
You may see the details of ERFO assistance by visiting www.ERFO.org.
at the request of ERA authorities, a delegate of ERFO trustees and advisors
including: Dr. Reza Naghavi, Dr. Sabeeh Khan, Dr. Azita Naghavi Khan, Mrs.
Masumeh Farivar and I, met with Mr. Haroon Shoukat Counsel General of Pakistan
in New York, followed by traveling to Washington, DC to meet Maj. General
Jahangir Karamat the Pakistan Ambassador to U.S., and Mr. Javid Shahid Burki
of the World Bank, to discuss the possibility of assisting the Government
of Pakistan (GoP) in applying the successful ERFO program in managing the
children orphaned by the earthquake in Pakistan.
Following a favorable
response by the Pakistani officials, on December 11, 2005, Mrs. Masumeh Farivar,
Dr. Reza Naghavi, Dr. Sabeeh Ur Rehman Khan and I, traveled to Islamabad
to meet governmental ministries trusted with the responsibility of caring
for orphans. During our 4 day stay in Pakistan, we met with the Federal Relief
Commissioner Maj. General Farooq Ahmad Khan, Surgeon General Maj. General
Usmani, Minister of Finance Dr. Salman Shah, Minister of Economic Affairs
Mrs. Hena Rabani Khar, Minister of Social Welfare Mrs. Zubaida Jalal, Director
of National Commission for Child Welfare and Development from Ministry of
Social Welfare and Special Education Mr. Mohammad Hassan Mangi, Secretary
Naeem Khan and additional Secretary of Social Welfare Ministry Mr. Noor Saghir
Khan. Multiple other officials attended all meetings.
At the UNICEF
office we participated in the weekly gathering of the Protection Cluster
Meeting and were delighted to see that multiple international and national
NGOs are hard at work trying to protect orphans, children, women, disabled,
made through the Social Welfare Ministry to visit the newly organized ASHYANAH
Camp in Hattia where several hundred orphans, homeless, destitute women and
children are kept. General Farooq Khan in the Prime Minister Secretariat
Office arranged our visit by a UN helicopter to the regions damaged by the
earthquake. We traveled to the epicenter of the earthquake, Mozaffarabad
and Bagh. In Mozaffarabad we visited PIMS field clinic and its famous patient;
the lady who had miraculously survived 64 days under the ruble. We also toured
Al Islam camp, Dewan relief camp, Al-Mustafa welfare camp and the Khubaib
Foundation camp and visited couple of schools in tent cities and met several
orphan children attending these outdoor schools.
At the conclusion
of our visit ERFO offered a preliminary Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
to the GoP Ministries of Social Welfare and Finance. ERFO agreed to provide
the format and initial training of personnel to implement its orphan program.
ERFO and GoP will jointly design, maintain and operate the program as suited
for the areas. GoP will provide the seed money for each orphan and ERFO will
raise fund as needed to maintain the program and will make sure that:
- Orphans are
adopted by their suitable surviving family members when and if possible
- Educated to
the extent that is locally available
- Are well cared
for when it comes to nutrition and health
- Are not put
to work inside home or outside till they reach adult age of 18
will receive the interest of the seed money monthly, but the original sum
will be available only to orphans when they become eighteen.
Mr. Jamal Farivar,
ERFO representative in Iran will travel to Pakistan’s affected area,
as soon as MoU is signed by both sides, to start the arduous task of completing
paper work for financial and legal guardianship of orphans.
As it has been
ERFO’s customary practice in Iran, ERFO and any one involved with ERFO
will not derive any financial benefit from this humanitarian act.
Mohammad Farivar, MD
Earthquake Relief Fund for Orphans