OIC appeals for urgent aid to Pakistan

The Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) on Wednesday called on member states and the international community for urgent aid to Pakistan, which is grappling with devastating floods.

The OIC called in a communique for the “international community in general and Islamic world in particular, at the level of individuals and states, to provide urgent material and financial aid to Pakistan.”

The appeal was issued at an emergency meeting for representatives of member states of the pan-Muslim organisation.

An OIC spokesman confirmed on Wednesday that the Islamic Development Bank has allocated 11.2 million dollars (8.7 million euros) for assistance to Pakistan.

Saudi Arabia raised 20.5 million dollars (15.9 billion euros) of aid on the first day of a national campaign, official SPA news said on Tuesday.

The kingdom has also pledged to provide 100 million dollars (77.6 million euros) in government aid to Pakistan, the Arab News daily said.

Also on Tuesday, Kuwait’s cabinet announced five million dollars (3.8 million euros) in relief assistance.

Pakistan’s worst-ever humanitarian disaster has ravaged an area roughly the size of England, affected 20 million people, exacerbated a crippling energy crisis and raised fears of social unrest.

OIC secretary general Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu told the meeting that the situation in Pakistan is “very grave and unprecedented in modern history.”

Ihsanoglu said after the meeting that the OIC will hold a meeting in Pakistan for Islamic Red Crescent societies and relief bodies to coordinate aid, and that contacts are ongoing with Pakistan to set the date and place for the meeting.

Floods have inflicted widespread damage on infrastructure, and in some cities destroyed electricity installations, roads and phone lines.

The World Bank, which has announced a 900 million dollar (700 million euros) loan for Pakistan, expects the economic impact to be huge, and said that direct damage was greatest in housing, roads, irrigation and agriculture. It estimated crop loss at one billion dollars (776 million euros).