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Canadian Red Cross donates 17 vehicles to ARCS

AT-KABUL: The Canadian Red Cross donated 17 vehicles to the Afghan Red Crescent Society (ARCS) aimed at providing transportation facilities to people living in remote parts of the country.

Keys of the vehicles were handed over by the representatives of International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and Canadian Red Cross to ARCS here in Kabul on Tuesday.

Deputy Head of the ARCS, Mohammad Zahir Walizada, said that total value of the donated vehicles is around $50,000. He said the vehicles would be provided to the provincial offices of the ARCS for provision of urgent health services to locals in case of natural disasters.

He said that in the past five years the Canadian government has donated around $15 million to the ARCS for capacity building and improving health services.

The Afghan Red Crescent Society received assistance from different countries, particularly from the IFRC and Red Cross of Canada, and the two bodies had close cooperation with the ARCS in the past 13 years, he added.

While counting the problems faced by the ARCS he said the society lacks required number of vehicles to shift patients from disaster-hit areas to hospitals. He went on saying that at least 50 vehicles are required in the capital city of Afghanistan and other provinces to provide quick transportation facilities to people in case of emergency.

Representative of the IFRC, Christopher Jackson, said that Afghan Red Crescent Society has been member of the IFRC for around 80 years. This is a part of long term coordination of the Canadian government which might continue for the next five years. The aid would help the ARCS to provide the urgent services to disaster victims, he said.

The Canadian Red Cross Manager for Asia Program said that Canada assisted the ARCS during the past 15 years and the assistance would continue in the future as well. (By Akhtar M. Nikzad)

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