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Canada to construct girls’ college, school in quake-hit area

ISLAMABAD: Canadian High Commissioner to Pakistan, Ross Hynes, on Friday visited the Union Council of Hattian Dopatta to break ground for the construction of a degree college for girls and a high school for boys.

This college and high school are part of a $ 20-million Canadian programme to reconstruct up to 42 schools destroyed in Hattian Doppotta following the earthquake of 2005, says a press release issued here Friday. The project is being managed by CDM Constructors Inc and funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

“The tragic earthquake of 2005 had a devastating impact on the lives of millions of people in Pakistan, particularly among school children. Canada responded generously through CIDA, and has been working closely with Pakistan’s Earthquake Reconstruction & Rehabilitation Authority (Erra) to ensure that these young girls and boys will have a safe place to go to school,” said Hynes.

The ceremony commemorated the initiation of construction of the first four schools by Banu Mukhtar Contracting (Pvt) Ltd (formerly known as Izhar (Pvt) Ltd. The construction of the remaining schools will be contracted out to qualified Pakistani construction companies in a transparent and fair bidding process over the next few months. The schools are to be all completed by December 2013. Hamid Yar Hiraj, chairman of Erra expressed appreciation for the strong co-operation between the Canadian and Pakistani governments in responding to the needs of those affected by the October 2005 earthquake in Pakistan.

This year, Canada marks 60 years of continuous development partnership with Pakistan and continues to assist in times of need. Canada has provided $315 million in humanitarian and reconstruction assistance in response to the 2005 earthquake, internally displaced persons (IDP) crisis in Northwest Pakistan and recent floods. The Government of Canada provided $80 million in assistance to flood-affected peoples following the 2010 flood, while Canadians contributed private donations of over $47 million. In Oct 2011, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) announced $11 million for eight new projects in support for those affected by 2011 monsoon rains and ongoing flooding in southern Pakistan.

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