Saudi relief group turns over keys of 2,700 houses to Pakistani families

March 29, 2008

The Saudi Public Assistance for Pakistan Earthquake Victims (SPAPEV) has handed over to Pakistani families the keys to 2,700 prefabricated houses that were built as part of Saudi Arabia’s aid to victims of the October 2005 earthquake.

A $16.7 million contract was signed to construct 4,000 houses in Balakot, North-West Frontier Province in October 2006. Construction is underway on the remaining 1,300 houses and they are expected to be completed very soon, SPAPEV Media Director Ibrahim Homaily said recently.

SPAPEV also signed a $5.1 million contract to build 1,000 prefabricated houses in Bagh, Azad Kashmir for victims of the quake. That project is expected to begin soon, Homaily said.
In addition to the houses, SPAPEV plans to construct 30 secondary schools in the Bagh and Balakot areas as well as 30 large mosques and 90 small mosques.

SPAPEV is supervised by Minister of Interior Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz. It operates under the directives of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz.

Since SPAPEV began its operations in Pakistan, the organization has provided significant relief aid, including 200,000 blankets, 150,000 quilts, 12,500 winterized tents, 100,000 food packets, medicine, stoves, sugar, cooking oil, rice, flour bags, etc., and thousands of polypropylene sheets.

It has provided $2 million each to UNICEF and the World Food Program (WFP), and $700,000 to the READ Foundation. It has also handed over relief aid worth millions to international organizations such as the International Islamic Relief Organization.

After the deadly 2005 earthquake devastated regions of Pakistan, Saudi Arabia was the single largest donor to relief efforts with aid in excess of $573 million.