ERBIL, 4th April, 2016 (WAM) – The Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) has laid the foundation stone for the Mother of the Nation Eye Hospital in Erbil Province, Iraq.

The hospital is the first of its kind in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, and part of the ERC’s efforts to promote medical services in northern Iraq.

The event was attended by Dr. Mohammed Ateeq Al Falahi, Secretary-General of the ERC, Karim Sinjari, Minister of Interior of the Kurdistan region of Iraq, Rashid Mohammed Al Mansouri, Consul- General of the UAE in Kurdistan, Nawzad Hadi, Governor of Erbil, Emirati artist Hussein Al Jasmi, Goodwill Extraordinary Ambassador and Ambassador of Ataya Initiative, and a number of senior officials.

The ERC also opened a number of new projects to serve the displaced Iraqis and Syrian refugees in Iraq’s Kurdistan region, including the motherhood and childhood hospital and a camp with a capacity of 632 residential units as well as other service projects. It also opened Ataya Hospital for Childhood and Motherhood in Erbil with a capacity of 58 beds to serve the displaced and refugees at the camp, along with the local population in Erbil and its surrounding environs.

It was funded by the proceeds from the Ataya exhibition, organised by the ERC annually under the patronage of the wife of H.H Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in the Western Region, H.H. Sheikha Shamsa bint Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, Assistant of ERC Chairman for Women Affairs and Chairwoman of the Higher Committee for Ataya Exhibition.

She ordered allocation of the proceeds of the fourth edition of the exhibition held last year, to set up of the hospital that cares about the health of children and mothers in Iraq’s Kurdistan.

The ERC delegation also laid the foundation stone for a new fever specialty hospital.

Dr. Ateeq said the delegation’s visit aimed at opening a number of vital projects and assessing the humanitarian initiatives undertaken by the ERC in Iraq’s Kurdistan, as well as following up efforts made by the authority to improve its response towards the needs of displaced people and refugees.

He said that the development projects being implemented with the follow-up by Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed, were extension to the UAE humanitarian approach outlined by the country’s leadership.

Dr. Ateeq praised the initiative of Sheikha Shamsa bint Hamdan to establish the maternity and paediatric hospital to serve the displaced people and refugees, and promote the health services for Iraqi women, which bore the brunt of the repercussions of displacement and critical humanitarian circumstances during the current crisis.