Ordinary Chinese reaching out to flood victims in Pakistan | By Sultan M Hali


Ordinary Chinese reaching out to flood victims in Pakistan

UNPRECEDENTED torrential rains in Pakistan have wreaked havoc. They have taken a huge toll on human lives, houses and cattle.

The outbreak of epidemics like Gastroenteritis and Dengue Fever are adding to the misery of the flood victims.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres revealed that the ongoing flooding had cost Pakistan $30 billion, as he visited Pakistan to mobilise help for millions of people affected by devastating monsoon floods.

Over 1,500 people have died in flooding that covers a third of the country, wiping out crops and destroying homes, businesses, roads and bridges.

Guterres said he hoped his visit would galvanise international help, noting Pakistan had always shown generosity towards others, hosting millions of refugees for decades from neighbouring Afghanistan at enormous cost.

Guterres toured flood-hit parts of the south and also visited Mohenjo Daro, a centuries-old UNESCO-designated world heritage site threatened by the deluge.

He urged the international community to extend “massive support” to a country that had little contribution to the emissions but bore the brunt of climate change.

As many as 33 million people were affected by the natural disaster, with people losing not just homes but their livelihood too.

Numerous nations around the world, including China have come to the aid of Pakistan, but the remarkable fact is that ordinary Chinese people have come out in a big way to support their brothers and sisters in distress.

The Chinese government has provided an assistance of 400 million Chinese Yuan as financial assistance to flood-ravaged Pakistan, along with 25,000 tents and food supply.

The Red Cross Society of China provided USD 300,000 in emergency cash assistance to the Pakistan Red Crescent Society, and launched a handover ceremony in Islamabad this week.

The Chinese enterprises in Pakistan’s southwest Balochistan province donated USD 250,000 on September1 to the flood victims of the province.

In China, provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government are acting in various ways to express sympathy or support to Pakistan.

The China International Development Cooperation Agency has set up a joint working group with Pakistan on the implementation of follow-up cooperation in emergency relief.

Spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Wang Wenbin stated that “A friend in need is a friend indeed; true gold can stand the test of fire.

I am confident that the Pakistani people will prevail over the floods at an early date and the brotherly bond between China and Pakistan will be further elevated.”

Chinese investors in Pakistan have also come forward to help the flood victims. Panda Industries Association, an organization of Chinese investors in Pakistan, has sent seven trucks of relief goods worth millions of rupees to Dera Ghazi Khan for 4,000 flood victims in Punjab.

The first batch of goods sent to the flood victims included mosquito nets, ready-to-eat items, mineral water, clothes, tents and medicines.

China has also come forward to provide prefabricated houses to the flood victims for their rehabilitation.

Chinese Henan DR Group has produced low-cost prefabricated houses for the Pakistani flood affectees at the Faisalabad Free-Zone M3IC in Punjab.

The group is focusing on helping and supporting the flood victims by building low-cost houses at approximately Rs 1.8 million per unit.

The actual value of a single unit is Rs 2.6 to 2.8 million, however, the company’s management decided not to make any profit from the rehabilitation of flood victims.

The group has the capacity of preparing 200 houses per month and more than 2000 houses in a year.

Chinese enterprises in Pakistan, under the banner of the All-Pakistan Chinese Enterprises’ Association (APCEA) have so far donated humanitarian aid of over 15.5 million Pakistani rupees ($71,340) to local flood victims.

The donation was made to the prime minister’s relief fund. APCEA chairman Yang Jianduo said Chinese companies are also arranging machines to repair the damaged roads in an attempt to bring immediate help to the locals.

Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Nong Rong said China has decided to provide another batch of emergency humanitarian supplies and will try to get it there as soon as possible.

“China and Pakistan are true friends and good brothers by sharing weal and woe,” he said. Earlier, the embassy responded to a call of flood victims in Balochistan by donating food packs to 800 to 1,000 families living in relief camps.

This is in addition to the donation of 300 solar panel units in the areas where electricity supply was badly disrupted by the flood.

Chinese Volunteers in Pakistan also donated food to local flood victims by teaming up with a local nongovernmental organization.

Six Chinese companies in Pakistan’s Punjab province have jointly set up the Panda Industries Association to raise Rs 6 million in cash and Rs.8 million in clothing for 4,000 flood victims in Punjab.

The six Chinese companies in the Panda Chamber include Challenge Fashion (Pvt) Co., Ltd, Easy Prefabricated Homes Ltd, LEDZONE, OPPO, TCL and Zhengbang Agriculture.

A team of Peshawar-Karachi Motorway (PKM) led by China State Construction Engineering Group Co, Ltd (CSCEC) is massively contributing to Pakistan’s relief efforts, Gwadar Pro reported.

After knowing the devastating flood situation in different parts of Pakistan, the team promptly purchased a large number of local necessities such as rice, grain, oil and sugar and distributed the relief food among 800 nearby poor victims free of charge, thus relieving the urgent needs of local people.

The PKM project team prepared about 500 boxes of various kinds of drugs for treating post-disaster epidemics, organised medical teams to visit nearby villages for free diagnosis and carried out free medicine delivery activities to equip local villagers with the knowledge of post-disaster disease prevention, thus avoiding the occurrence of infectious diseases and ensuring the physical health and food safety of the people in the flood-hit areas.

There are heart-rending stories of how ordinary Chinese have extended a helping hand to the Pakistani people.

I came across four friends in China, Yang Chaoliang, Yang Lulei, Wang Guozhong and Roy, who generously donated five lakh rupees and food supplies to the flood-stricken people.

This kind of camaraderie is what comprises the spirit of iron brothers in the people of China and Pakistan.

—The Author is a Retired Group Captain of PAF, who has written several books on China.


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