ISLAMABAD: A host of leading charities of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have been hosting Iftar dinners in different cities of Pakistan since the onset of Ramazan for providing good food to the poor after a day-long fasting in the prevailing hot and muggy weather.
Several organisations like Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Charity Foundation and the Red Crescent Authority, have taken the lead in this noble task of serving the deserving people by organising Iftar programmes in close collaboration with the UAE Embassy in Islamabad.
“It is to serve the underprivileged segments of the society in different places in Pakistan to enable them to celebrate the true spirit of the holy month of Ramazan,” said an embassy news release on Monday. It said the Iftar programmes are being held in compliance with the directive of the UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
The organisations have been purposefully engaged in Iftar programmes which, besides provision of food stuff, readymade meals, also included distribution of alms and clothes to orphan children and the needy on the eve of Eid-ul-Fitr.
UAE Ambassador to Islamabad, Essa Abdulla Al Basha Al Noauimi, since the beginning of the holy month, has been distributing among the needy families a large quantity of dates, which were sent by the UAE Red Crescent. At least 50,000 tons of dates have been distributed across the country as part of the continuing Ramazan programmes, it said.
A delegation of Khalifa Charity Foundation specially flew into Pakistan to distribute 20 tons of dates and 150,000 bags of flour in some districts of southern Punjab and Balochistan.
Besides Pakistan, the Iftar programmes during the holy month are continuing in 55 other countries as well, it said. Another initiative was launched by Director UAE Project to Assist Pakistan, Abdullah Al Ghafli, under which a consignment of 160 tons of flour were transported to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. These were meant for the families of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), who had to leave their homes as a result of military operation against the militants in South Waziristan. The IDPs had to take shelter in camps in the KPK and this project would benefit about 20,000 such families.
With the advent of the holy month, the Red Crescent, through its branch office in Islamabad, distributed dry food ration for a month to 211 families housed in a UAE built compound (Khalifa City) in Garhi Habibullah, Mansehra district. It also hosted Iftar in several districts of the province.
The Iftar programmes were held in orphanages, occupants of the welfare homes and schools, community centres, special persons, elderly and deserving people.
The UAE organisations have shown special care to patients and para-medic staff in Poly Clinic, Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences in Islamabad, Holy Family and District Hospital, Rawalpindi.
The press release quoted a senior diplomat as saying that such programmes could help reduce some worries of certain segments of the society and would bring happiness, comfort and brotherly feelings for the UAE.
During all Iftar dinners two packets of food are distributed, which contain all the items of a balanced diet and spicy food, popular in Pakistan, during the holy month. The food is cooked and prepared under hygienic conditions. All Iftar programmes are being supervised by the embassy, which has been receiving letters of thanks from various social welfare institutions.