As part of the efforts of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and its relevant organs to contain the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the Islamic Solidarity Fund (ISF), an OIC subsidiary organ, has disbursed the first payment of its urgent financial grant to the least developed countries (LDCs) among OIC Member States. The ISF’s initiative aims to strengthen the capabilities of these LDCs in the face of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, especially in the health sector.
In this regard, the OIC Secretary General, Dr. Yousef A. Al-Othaimeen, praised the efforts of the Chair of the ISF’s Permanent Council and its Executive Director. “The ISF’s move to support the LDCs among Member States is integral to the OIC’s commitment to harness all its capabilities in favor of its Member States to help them face the pandemic,” stated Al-Othaimeen reiterating his appeal to Member States to donate to the ISF’s designated account so that it could meet the increasing needs of the affected countries.
The Secretary General pointed out that since the beginning of the crisis, the OIC has made great efforts to enhance joint Islamic action and intensify Islamic cooperation and solidarity to confront the pandemic, including the following:
- Holding the Health Steering Committee meeting on April 9, 2020, to combat COVID-19 pandemic and following up on its recommendations,
- Holding the Second Fiqhi Medical Symposium of the International Islamic Fiqh Academy on April 16, 2020, to study various jurisprudential aspects of addressing the pandemic,
- Holding the Executive Committee meeting at the level of Foreign Ministers on April 22, 2020, and following up on its recommendations.
On the other hand, the OIC’s institutions and financing organs have adopted rapid response initiatives by allocating financial resources to Member States to contain the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, as follows:
- The announcement by the IsDB Group of a US$ 2.3 billion strategic preparedness and response program to the benefit of many Member States,
- The ISF’s allocation of an account to help Member States, especially the LDCs, enhance their capabilities in the face of the pandemic, especially in the health sector. The ISF donated US$ 1 million to the emergency account.
Al-Othaimeen added that the OIC highlights the efforts of Member States to raise awareness of the seriousness of the pandemic by publishing them on its social media platforms, along with the OIC’s awareness-raising messages in the three official languages on ways to prevent the pandemic and curb its spread. The OIC also communicates and coordinates with its related institutions, which for their part are preparing to hold several virtual meetings and activities to combat the pandemic. The Secretary General added that communication with international and regional organizations also continues at the level of the General Secretariat and through its offices abroad, especially in Brussels, New York, Geneva, Kabul, and Mogadishu.