Islamic Relief’s CEO has met with the Prime Minister of Pakistan and other leading figures in a visit designed to deepen our positive impact in the country.
Prime Minister Imran Khan commends Islamic Relief
In a meeting with CEO Naser Haghamed on 2 December, Prime Minister Imran Khan commended the role played by Islamic Relief in supporting the socio-economic development of Pakistan. He especially noted our work in health, post disaster and disaster risk reduction, water and sanitation, education and climate change.
He shared his vision of inclusive and sustainable development of all segments of the society without any discrimination, and encouraged Islamic Relief to partner with the government’s flagship Ehsaas programme, aimed at poverty alleviation and social protection.
Naser appreciated the Prime Minister’s vision and assured him that we will continue to contribute towards the well-being of Pakistanis through projects conceived and developed in consultation with the Government, and in line with the Government’s priorities.
“The Prime Minister spoke highly of Islamic Relief,” said Naser. “He remembered that we raised funds for his cancer hospital as well as our work in Bosnia and other places.
“We discussed Islamic Relief’s work in Pakistan, and [I found him] very knowledgeable about the work of non-governmental organisations and the challenges we face. We also talked about Islamic Relief piloting a project to tackle child abuse using our Channels of Hope methodology.”
President Dr Arif Alvi welcomed Islamic Relief’s contribution to development
Naser also met with the President, Dr Arif Alvi, at the presidential palace, Aiwan-e-Sadr. The President said the government believed in inclusive and sustainable development and invited Islamic Relief to support the ongoing Ehsaas Undergraduate Scholarship Programme of Higher Education Commission.
President Alvi appreciated the role played by Islamic Relief Worldwide and urged Islamic Relief to help the government provide free health services.
Resilience top of agenda in meeting with National Disaster Management Authority
A meeting with Lieutenant General Muhammad Afzal, Chairman of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), focused on our resolve to continue working with communities to build a safer and resilient Pakistan. The Chairman appreciated the efforts made by Islamic Relief to address the core humanitarian challenges in the country.
Top officials come together to talk about Islamic Relief’s impact in Pakistan
At a special reception held during the visit, the Managing Director of Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal lauded our work.
“Islamic Relief Pakistan is strengthening the vulnerable community through orphan sponsorship for children, while tangible efforts have been taken for empowering widows through skill development,” he told guests including Deputy Commissioner Islamabad Muhammad Hamza Shafqaat and Deputy Head of DFID Pakistan Kemi Williams.
Ambassadors, UN and government officials also attended alongside leading sector experts.
The trip included an appearance on Pakistan Television Network (PTV), in which the CEO was interviewed about the role of faith inspired charities in tackling poverty and suffering.
Islamic Relief is transforming lives in Pakistan
Naser also visited some of our life-changing projects in:
- Khyber Pakhtunwha, where local people told him how Islamic Relief has created opportunities in their communities and the Provincial Minister for Education Me. Atif Khan welcomed our empowering work in the tribal regions. The CEO also met key individuals from government, academia and UN agencies.
- Azad Jammu and Kashmir, where he saw Islamic Relief water filtration plants and spent time at a health unit and schools which we have repaired. Naser met with local people working together in community groups brought together by Islamic Relief, urging them to make sure their groups are inclusive.
- Rawalpindi, where highlights included meeting people helped by an Islamic Relief scheme which gives working children an informal education. It also helps their families to earn an income so their children don’t need to work. “I was inspired by the mothers I met,” said Naser, “They are determined that once they have a steady income they will send their children to school.” Empowering women was a key theme, as Naser met women learning vocational skills through which they can lift themselves and their families out of poverty.
Expanding our work – and our impact – in Pakistan
Islamic Relief has been working in Pakistan since 1992, and our CEO is determined that we continue to deliver strong outcomes for the vulnerable people we serve.
“I’m encouraged by how strong Islamic Relief’s reputation is in Pakistan,” said Naser on his return to the UK earlier this week. “The breadth and depth of our work in the country has increased since my last visit, when our focus was largely on lifting people out of poverty.
“We are now empowering communities to push for positive, lasting change. Communities trust us, and government and key institutions want to work with us. We work in areas that other international non-governmental organisations cannot access,” he added, explaining that Islamic Relief plans to expand operations into two new districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and, aligning with the government’s strategy, do more to tackle climate change.
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