Chairman says concrete plan of action designed to transform PRCS into a role model of swift and efficient assistance towards vulnerable segments of society
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS) Chairman Abrar ul Haq has said that a first-of-its-kind initiative for digital transformation of the organization has been launched to bring more transparency and efficiency to the humanitarian assistance and service delivery.
“Transparency and efficiency are the hallmark of any leading humanitarian organization. Since assuming charge around a year back as chairman, I have laid special focus on digital transformation in order to bring transparency especially in human resource, logistics, inventory, finance, transport and procurement departments to make the processes more efficient, plug any existing loopholes and utilize the full potential of this huge platform for service to humanity,” Abrar ul Haq said while addressing media at a dissemination session held here Thursday at the PRCS National Headquarters.
The chairman said that a concrete plan of action has been designed to transform PRCS into a role model of swift and efficient assistance for survival, recovery and socio-economic empowerment of the vulnerable segments of the society. “A number of new initiatives have been launched and we are in touch with several local and international organizations and institutions to expand PRCS outreach and find new avenues of cooperation and collaboration,” he said.
Spelling out a few of the initiatives taken by the PRCS recently, Abrar ul Haq said being an auxiliary to the government of Pakistan, the PRCS has been in the forefront of the national effort to contain the spread of coronavirus right from day one. He said state-of-the-art Red Crescent Corona Care Hospital was set up in Rawalpindi within record 20 days. Equipped with 15-bed ICU, 15 ventilators and 80 oxygen points, the hospital has been further transformed into high density unit to fight the pandemic in Pakistan. He said so far, hundreds of patients have been treated successfully at the hospital.
Abrar ul Haq said the unique idea of ‘Muhafiz Force’ comprising trained volunteers benefitted around 96,000 households across country during the Covid-19 pandemic. The idea was appreciated by the US media which declared it the most workable solution to the issue, he said, adding that a nationwide Covid-19 awareness campaign was also launched by the Muhafiz Force through mosque announcements, pamphlets distribution and community sessions. He said thousands of PPEs and hygiene kits have so far been distributed among healthcare professionals at different government-run hospitals across country.
Abrar ul Haq said the PRCS is developing a Red Crescent Corps (RCC) of volunteers across country to achieve its objective of a ‘First Aider in Every Home’ under its flagship program of First Aid. He said during the last one year, PRCS has completed 15 emergency responses in Balochistan, Sindh, KP, Merged Areas, and AJK in which over 2 million beneficiaries have been provided with the humanitarian assistance.
The chairman said for years, the PRCS had been mostly dependent on foreign funding. In order to maximize funding to support different initiatives, the Resource Mobilization Department was set up which has raised a huge amount of Rs 130 million within a few months. Keeping in view the importance of social media in the emerging world, he said, a dedicated department has been set up to highlight the activities of the PRCS and to sensitize the general public to health and social issues.
Abrar ul Haq said during his recent visit to Saudi Arabia, the PRCS and Saudi Red Crescent Authority agreed to facilitate Pakistani citizens detained in Saudi Arabian jails by their repatriation. He said as part of its RFL Programme, the PRCS is also in contact with other countries to ensure repatriation of Pakistanis detained there. He also mentioned the recent repatriation of 24 Bangladeshi nationals who were charged under the Foreigners Act and had completed their jail terms in Pakistan.
The chairman said under the newly developed strategic plan, the PRCS plans to extensively work in four core areas of health services, disaster risk reduction, migration and social services during the next five years.
PRCS Acting Secretary General Dr Adeel Nawaz and other senior officers were also present on the occasion.