OIC, Islamic bank sign humanitarian fund for Afghanistan pact

ISLAMABAD: A charter to establish a Humanitarian Trust Fund for Afghanistan was signed late Monday by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and Islamic Development Bank (IDB).

The signing ceremony, held in Islamabad, was also attended by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

The charter was signed by OIC Secretary General Hissein Brahim Taha and IDB head Muhammad Sulaiman Al-Jasser, according to a Foreign Office statement.

“The Trust Fund has been launched under the aegis of the Islamic Development Bank. Its establishment was one of the key outcomes of the 17th Extraordinary Session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers, held in Islamabad on 19 December 2021,” said the statement.

The bank will serve as a vehicle to channel humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan, including in partnership with other international actors.

Addressing the ceremony, Qureshi said the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan needs urgent action and requested that OIC member states and other donors contribute to the fund.

“Humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people would constitute an important facet of Pakistan’s forthcoming chairmanship of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers,” he said.

The 48th OIC Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) meeting is scheduled to be held in Islamabad on March 22-23, and several top diplomats of Muslim countries have already arrived.

“Pakistan has already announced an assistance package of 5 billion Pak rupees (over $27.7 million) for Afghanistan. It remains firmly committed to supporting the Afghan people, in the wake of serious humanitarian challenges,” said Qureshi.

Earlier, Qureshi also meet with Taha, who has arrived in Islamabad, and reviewed the agenda of the meeting and issues facing the Muslim world it will discuss.

Welcoming the UN General Assembly’s recent passage of a resolution designating March 15 International Day to Combat Islamophobia, Qureshi lauded the support of the OIC and its member states for his country’s initiative, according to the ministry.

He also praised a proposal to appoint an OIC special envoy on Islamophobia and the OIC’s principled position and consistent support for the “just struggle” of the people of occupied Kashmir for their right to self-determination.

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