Islamabad – Press Release
Pakistan is looking forward to hosting the 17th extraordinary session of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s Council of Foreign ministers at Islamabad on December 19, 2021, to help the people of Afghanistan address the growing serious humanitarian crises, says a press release received here today from Dhaka.
Millions of Afghans, including women and children, urgently need food, medicine, and other essential living supplies. According to the United Nations World Food Programme, around 22.8 million people – more than half of the population of Afghanistan face acute food shortages, 3.2 million Afghan children and 700,000 pregnant and lactating women are at the risk of acute malnutrition. According to UN estimates, 60% of Afghanistan’s 38 million people face “crisis levels of hunger” and that situation is getting worse every day.
According to UNHCR, 665,000 people have been newly displaced within Afghanistan between January and September 2021 in addition to the 2.9 million people already internally displaced in that country. With the advent of winter, the situation has been further exacerbated and if left unattended, it could aggravate into a major humanitarian crisis.
Against this backdrop, Pakistan has welcomed the initiative of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Summit Chair of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), to convene an Extraordinary Session of the OIC Council of Foreign Minister (CFM) on the situation in Afghanistan. Following Pakistan’s offer to host, the meeting is scheduled to take place in Islamabad on 19 December 2021.
Afghanistan is a founding member of the OIC. As part of the Islamic Ummah, we are bound by fraternal bonds of amity and brotherhood with the people of Afghanistan. Over the years, the OIC has extended consistent support to the people of Afghanistan. Today, more than ever before, the Afghan people need the support of the international community including the OIC. OIC is the collective voice of the Islamic Ummah, can and must play its part in addressing the humanitarian needs of our Afghan brethren. If a humanitarian crisis is averted and economic stability is assured, peace in the country can be consolidated. This will also have a regional peace dividend.
Together, at this session, we can and must forge practical and concrete arrangements to boost efforts to address the Afghan people’s urgent humanitarian needs. Pakistan is, therefore, pleased to extend a cordial invitation to all the Foreign Ministers of the OIC States to personally attend this special session of the OIC CFM in Islamabad on 19 December 2021. We are confident that collective participation in this meeting would contribute towards achieving meaningful outcomes for our Afghan brothers and sisters. The meeting of Islamic ummah would also help galvanize other international actors to come forward and extend a helping hand to the Afghan people.