OIC sets up ‘humanitarian fund’ for Afghanistan

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NEW DELHI:  The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has set up a humanitarian fund to be operated by the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) to help avert the humanitarian and economic crises in Afghanistan, The Express Tribune reported.

The announcement of the fund was part of the measures the 57-member Islamic bloc agreed upon after the 17th Extraordinary Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of OIC hosted by Pakistan.

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However, it is unclear if the decisions made by the OIC will make an immediate impact on the ground in Afghanistan, which is in dire need of humanitarian assistance, the report said.

The humanitarian fund would channel financial assistance to be provided by member states to Afghanistan.

The reason the trust fund has been set up is to establish a channel through which assistance could be provided to the people of Afghanistan.

Currently, because of the sanctions imposed by the US and other Western countries, there are no formal banking channels or financial system operating in Afghanistan, the report added.

In the absence of formal banking channels, the countries interested in helping the people of Afghanistan are finding it difficult to do so.

Qureshi, who held a joint news conference along with OIC Secretary General Hissein Brahim Taha, said the establishment of a trust fund would help address that problem.

However, no pledges or donations were made yet to the newly created fund as Qureshi said the fund was just announced and hopefully member countries would start contributing to it soon. — IANS

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