Islamabad-Even thousands miles away from home, Pakistanis serving under United Nations Peacekeeping Missions always won accolades for the nation by providing best services to humanity in various trouble strife regions of the world.

Whether it is Darfur, Heiti, East Timor or any other troubled region, they always manifested commitment and dedication winning laurels for the nation by upholding the esteemed norms of sharing the pangs of aggrieved and serving them to comfort. Their services are most often acknowledged by the United Nation in its reviews and monthly publications with the recent one acknowledging Pakistan peacekeepers services in Darfur. The United

Nations saw with appreciation Pakistani peacekeepers reaching out to internally displaced persons and refugees of the African Union/UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) who had come from South Sudan and prison inmates through free medical camps in El Daein, East Darfur.

“More than 1,255 cases were treated at both the Khor Omer camp and the El Daein Central Prison, where access to health services was very limited,” said Captain Ameer Aslam of the Mission’s Clinic at the Khor Omer camp. “Hundreds of IDPs and refugees were treated for different ailments including skin diseases, body aches, diarrhoea, coughs, chest pains and malaria. Abdalla Hamad, representative, Popular committee, Khor Omer camp, who complained of severe chest pain, thanked African Union/UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur for organising the free medical camp and urged the mission to continue with this kind of service. He said he was already relieved after the first dose of the medicine given to him by the African Union/UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur doctors.  Amna Hamoda, 34, claimed she had been suffering from an eye condition for the past few years, and despite seeing various doctors did not receive relief.

She saw the arrival of the African Union/UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur doctors as a move in the right direction, and was positive her eye condition would improve rapidly. A similar free medical camp was also held at the El Daein Central Prison by doctors from the Mission’s hospital in Nyala, South Dar focus on United Nations peacekeeping Darfur, and El Daein.

Captain Aslam noted that the Mission’s clinic in El Daein is open to the community and receives between 5 - 10 patients every day.

Abda Musa, women’s representative, Khor Omer camp stated her belief that such medical initiative, if repeated in other locations, will assist the displaced in the future. She was particularly happy with the result in the Khor Omer Camp, where most could not afford to purchase medicines previous to the arrival of the mission. The Mission’s peacekeepers plan to host more such medical camps benefiting the local communities across Darfur.

Pakistani contingent also focused on water supply and as part of Engineering Section of the African Union/UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID), the Pakistani contingent inaugurated a water station at Ardamata area, West Darfur. The project which consisted of three boreholes and six water storage facilities will provide potable water to the Mission, local community and internally displaced persons in the area. In addition, the Pakistani Peacekeepers constructed a fence for the boreholes and the water storage facilities as well as paved the road to the water station.

Mohammad Islam, sector west, Mission Support Officer in Darfur stated that it will continue to share the available water resources with the local communities to help alleviate their suffering.

He said the project will not only help rationalise the mission’s spending on buying water from outsources, but will also give the peacekeeping operation the opportunity to assist the local community. During the inauguration, personnel of the operation and the `Sheiks’ of Internally Displaced Persons planted trees to contribute to creating a green and healthy atmosphere in the area, on the occasion of World Environment Day.

During the implementation of the project the Pakistani contingent organized a makeshift clinic and provided open medical days to the local community.

Pakistani peacekeepers also support engineering project in Ardamata, West Darfur in efforts to prevent soil erosion and damage from flash floods along Kaja River, Ardamata Valley, in El Geneina, West Darfur. Annual rainfall often causes flash floods in the area, leading to severe damage to the main road at Ardamata and disrupting movement to the El Geneina airport. The mission had supported this project given the critical importance of Ardamata road and its proximity to a large camp of the Internally Displace Persons in West Darfur.

The project entails the construction of one kilometre diversion channel to divert the course of the water from the river bank, thus preventing soil erosion, as well as building a 1.3 kilometre gabion wall to strengthen the embankment. The support by the mission towards the project, which is being provided by Pakistani peacekeepers, at an estimated cost of US

$74,200, includes the expertise of seven engineers and the use of the Mission’s plant machinery.

The story of humanitarian assistance does not end here as Pakistanis, imbued with commitment to serve humanity had achieved many milestones under the mission winning accolades and appreciation.