US hands over new hospital to AJK govt

Bagh, Azad Jammu and Kashmir: The United States handed over a newly completed hospital to the AJK Government on Thursday.

The Tehsil Headquarters THQ Hospital in Dhirkot was inaugurated today by USAID Pakistan Mission Director Gregory Gottlieb, Sardar Qamar Zaman, Minister of Health, Government of AJK, and Representatives from the Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority ERRA/ State Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority SERRA.

The handover of the hospital marked the completion of the United States 2005 earthquake reconstruction assistance under which 77 buildings with a funding of USD 137 million were reconstructed in Bagh, AJK and Mansehra district of KhyberPakhtunkhwa. The hospital will serve 200 patients daily and is the largest health facility serving over 80,000 people from surrounding areas. The hospital is built to be earthquake resistant. Local resources were utilized in its construction, resulting in economic revitalization and capacity and skill development. Community participation from design to construction and furnishing was also a unique feature of the project.

“Consistent with American values, the United States has provided lifesaving humanitarian assistance to millions of Pakistanis affected by disasters, and since 2009 US humanitarian assistance in Pakistan has accounted for USD 1 billion,” stated USAID Mission Director Gregory Gottlieb.

Through this assistance, 77 buildings comprising 61 schools and 16 health facilities destroyed in the 2005 earthquake were reconstructed and furnished. Schools constructed under this program serve 18,000 students from 556 villages and health facilities serve over half a million people.

Under its larger infrastructure support efforts, the United States through USAID is also building a genecology and fistula ward at Karachi’s Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, constructing a 133bed hospital in Jacobabad, reconstructing or renovating 7 faculties of education buildings at several universities, and rehabilitating flood affected schools in Sindh and Balochistan provinces.

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