PESHAWAR: UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency on Friday donated 14 ambulances to Khyber Pakhtunkwa government, in which 13 ambulances would add in Rescue 1122 emergency fleet while 1 for the Project Directorate Health, Commissionerate for Afghan Refugees, KPK.
A ceremony to sign an agreement on the transfer of ownership of the ambulances was held in Peshawar. The Director-General of Rescue 1122 Khateer Ahmad, the Commissioner for Afghan Refugees Abbas Khan and UNHCR’s Head of Sub-Office in Peshawar Bernard Inkoom were present there.
The ambulances will be deployed to Swabi, Timergara, Hangu, Charsadda, Chitral, D.I. Khan, Lakki Marwat, Buner, Kohat, Mansehra, Haripur and other districts as part of Rescue 1122 emergency services. The 14 new ambulances join another 5 ambulances previously donated in 2020, bringing the number of transferred ambulances to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa medical services to 19 in total.
In a video message, UNHCR’s Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, Indrika Ratwatte, praised the generosity of the people and Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa towards refugees.
“The capacity support provided by the ambulances to the Government is a token of our solidarity and appreciation for the dedication and care shown towards refugees.” he said.
Indrika Ratwatte hoped that these ambulances would add to the outreach services provided by Rescue 1122, especially to people in areas that are hard to reach with critical medical and emergency services.
UNHCR’s Head of Sub-Office in Peshawar Bernard Inkoom also commended the work of Rescue 1122. “At this time, when COVID-19 comes to knock on all our doors, we need to support one another. UNHCR is standing today with the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s emergency services and the people of Pakistan, just as Pakistan, its people and the local medical services here have stood in solidarity with Afghan refugees and shared critical health resources with them so generously for decades.” he added.
While addressing the ceremony, the Additional Health Secretary Afazal Akbar welcomed the efforts of UNHCR and the international community to support host communities in Pakistan. he said that the long-lasting partnership of UNHCR and the Provincial Government was very important to address health and medical needs, especially during the current pandemic. He assured that KPK government were committed to providing critical medical assistance to everyone in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, including refugees.
The Relief and Rehabilitation Secretary Amer Latif thanked UNHCR for the additional support of the 14 ambulances. “These ambulances will assist us greatly with increased numbers of patients requiring emergency transportation in different districts,” he said.
He added that A friend in need is a friend indeed, and the support of UNHCR during these extraordinary times had shown yet again the good collaboration that exists between UNHCR and the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.