His Highness the Aga Khan, Imam (spiritual leader) of the Ismaili Muslims and founder of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), today conveyed his deepest sympathy to the Government and people of Pakistan on the great loss of life, serious injury and widespread material destruction resulting from the earthquake that struck several parts of Pakistan.
In a letter to His Excellency President General Pervez Musharraf, the Aga Khan assured the Government of support for relief assistance for the earthquake victims affected in areas of the country and announced that the AKDN will make an initial contribution of Rs. 30 million (US$500,000) in support of the relief assistance being provided by the Government.
A further matching amount of Rs. 30 million (US$ 500,000) will be donated to the President’s Emergency Relief Fund by Habib Bank Limited. In the drive to supplement the relief efforts, the Habib Bank Limited will also provide support to its staff affected by the disaster.
Focus Humanitarian Assistance, the international emergency relief agency established by the Ismaili Community, along with AKDN agencies, including the Aga Khan Health Services and the Aga Khan University Hospital, have mobilised medical services, food, tents, other relief goods and humanitarian assistance. Personnel for search and rescue operations in the affected areas, have also been mobilised. In addition, AKDN helicopters have been made available for humanitarian efforts and are being facilitated by the Pakistan Army.
For more information on AKDN's relief efforts in remote parts of Pakistan, please see the CNN Video Report: http://edition.cnn.com/video/ The video shows a Focus team providing relief to earthquake vicitims in remote parts of Pakistan. To view, click on report on right under "WORLD" section..
See also the UNHCR site: http://www.unhcr.ch
Editor’s Note: The Aga Khan Development Network’s (AKDN) activities in Pakistan encompass cultural, economic and social development and include microfinance, agricultural programmes, health, and education, the introduction of clean-water supplies and sanitation facilities, construction of mini hydro-electric plants, the improvement of public open spaces, community-driven village rehabilitation and house renovation. The Network is a group of private, non-denominational development agencies and institutions that seek to empower communities and individuals, often in disadvantaged circumstances, to improve living conditions and opportunities in specific regions of Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Active in over 30 countries, the Network's underlying ethic is compassion for the vulnerable in society. Its agencies and institutions work for the common good of all citizens, regardless of origin, gender or religion.