Islamabad: Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said that the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Council of Foreign Ministers has agreed to establish a humanitarian trust fund and launch a food security programme to help the people of Afghanistan, facing a dire situation.
Addressing a press conference along with Secretary-General of OIC Hissein Brahim Taha in Islamabad at the conclusion of the 17th extraordinary session of OIC Council of Foreign Ministers on Sunday, he said that there is an awareness and recognition in the international community that a humanitarian crisis is looming in Afghanistan.
“It is felt that if we do not act then an economic collapse in Afghanistan can happen and time is of the essence,” he added. “We can have a difference of opinion with the Afghan authorities but our focus should be on 38 million people of Afghanistan.”
If things could go wrong not only Afghanistan but neighbouring countries would also be adversely impacted and the consequences would even be felt beyond the region, he noted.
“Helping people of Afghanistan is a shared responsibility and despite the desire, Pakistan alone cannot meet their humanitarian needs.”
The minister also said that two documents had been unanimously adopted at the conference including a joint resolution on the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan and Islamabad declaration on the Palestinian situation.
He said that the OIC foreign ministers expressed unity and support for the people of Afghanistan. The OIC members discussed how to develop and adopt an institutional mechanism for disbursement of resources to the Afghan people, he told.
FM Qureshi said that as Covid-19 is still prevalent, it is agreed that the OIC secretariat would engage with the World Health Organisation (WHO) for securing vaccines and medical supplies for Afghanistan.
“We collectively feel that we have to unlock financial and banking channels for Afghanistan as people cannot be helped without the presence of banking services.”
He informed that the conference delegates agreed to appoint a special envoy of OIC for Afghanistan to engage with stakeholders and help in extending assistance to the people of Afghanistan.
“The OIC members decided to forge a partnership between OIC and the United Nations system so that resources can be delivered to Afghanistan.” APP