KARACHI - President Asif Ali Zardari on Wednesday called upon the Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS) to further enhance its capacity for broadening the scope of its humanitarian activities and also to serve the humanity in case of any disaster at the national as well as international level.Chairing a specially-convened general meeting of the PRCS at the Bilawal House here, the president said that the ever-changing socio-economic, cultural and political scenarios of society with many emerging challenges demanded greater role from an organisation that was dedicated to serving the humanity in accordance with its fundamental principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity and universality. “A dynamic organisation must continue to evolve as per the changing requirements to respond to the emerging situations and to play its role for service of the humanity.”Zardari stressed the need for making the PRCS a self-sufficient organisation to confront natural disasters and calamities as international assistance in rescue and rehabilitation activities was not always available at hand.Expressing satisfaction over the performance of the PRCS in alleviating sufferings of the people and response during the times of natural calamities, the president expressed the hope that by implementing its “strategy-2015” that aimed to extend the geographical reach of society and enhance its capacities in the areas of disaster management, healthcare, youth and volunteerism, image building and being financially self-reliant, the PRCS would grow to a better position to serve the humanity in an effective manner.Those present at the meeting included presidents of the PRCS’s provincial branches Punjab Governor Sardar Latif Khosa, Sindh Acting Governor Nisar Khuhro, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Barrister Syed Masood Kauser, Balochistan Governor Nawab Zulfiqar Ali Magsi, PRCS Gilgit-Baltistan branch President Pir Karam Ali Shah, Federal Minister for National Regulations & Services Dr Firdus Ashiq Awan, M Salman Faruqui, Imtiaz Inayat Elahi, Abdul Wajid Rana, PRCS chairperson and other officials.Federal Minister for National Regulations & Services Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan presented an overview of the PRCS in delivering efficient, transparent and ready help to victims of natural calamities in different parts of the country. She thanked President Zardari for convening an extra-ordinary general meeting of the PRCS.In his presentation, PRCS Secretary General Dr Mehboob Sardar highlighted the the society’s organisational strength and arrangements to face the natural calamities. He informed the meeting that the PRCS had 89 district branches, out of 143 districts with 43 disaster management cells. The PRCS, he said, today had 125 health units, 7 blood banks and 103 ambulances all over the country. Referring to rescue teams, he informed the meeting that the PRCS had young motivated teams of 253,000 volunteers, 120,000 trained first aid persons and 443 trained disaster response team members. “The PRCS team is equipped with true state-of-the-art disaster response centres, one each in Islamabad and Muzaffarabad, AKJ,” he said.Firdous Ashiq Awan informed the meeting that in preparation for any eventuality of floods this year, the PRCS had already formulated its contingency plans through a consultative process with the provincial, state, regional branches and donors. “Based on a medium impact scenario, the PRCS with support of the ICRC, IFRC and other national societies, has planned to provide assistance to approximately 304,000 people with food, shelter, non food items, health care, water and sanitation facilities, psycho-social support and restoring family links facility. This support will be extended throughout the country. If needs increase, then efforts would be made to enhance the support, she informed the meeting.”President Zardari, while appreciating successful efforts of the PRCS management in providing assistance to over 4 million people during the floods of 2010 and one million people during the Sindh floods of 2011, complimented the entire staff, volunteers and the management of PRCS for their services for the humanity and assured the government’s continued support and patronage to the society in its mission.The president called upon the provinces to allocate funds for the organisation and to look into its land requirements for setting up disaster management centres. He also directed the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) to provide data to the PRCS free of cost to enable it to finalise contingency plans for the areas likely to be affected by rains and floods.The meeting unanimously adopted the inclusion of six personalities on the board of governors of the PRCS. They include Dr Adeeb Rizvi, Dr Abul Bari Khan, Mrs Perveen Magsi, Syeda Fiza Gilani, Syeda Sughra Imam and Mrs Asma Arbab Alamgir. The board of governors also approved the PRCS annual budget 2012.