OIC Chief lauds King Abdullah for sponsoring tsunami orphans


Jeddah : The Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu lauded the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosque King Abdullah’s compassionate decision to sponsor 500 orphans, victims of the tsunami. Prof. Ihsanoglu stated that the sponsorship program has so far received sponsorship applications for around ten thousand children out of the targeted twenty-five thousand. He pointed out that the majority of applications emanated from the government and people of Saudi Arabia.

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The OIC chief made the remarks during at the opening session of the 33rd Annual Session of the Board of Governors of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB). The Secretary General reviewed the efforts slated to tackle pervasive poverty in developing countries where 26 percent of the total population in OIC Member States live in absolute poverty. He also called for an increase in agricultural production and the reinforcement of cooperation among OIC Member States to face up to the unfolding global food crisis. Prof. Ihsanoglu regretted that just a small number of pledges have been made to support the Islamic Solidarity Fund. It is now necessary, he emphasized, to deploy serious efforts to raise necessary funds and significantly boost governments’ commitments and contributions. He stressed that writing off debts owed to OIC Member States will contribute in a great measure to helping least developed African countries, especially landlocked countries.

The Secretary General added that the Islamic summit held last March in Dakar, Senegal, adopted a resolution establishing a railway linking Dakar and Port Sudan. This ambitious project is expected to occasion greater development in various coastal countries in the swath of land from the Atlantic to the Red Sea. Prof. Ihsanoglu pointed out that the last session of the Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation (COMCEC) conducted a review of the practical steps to implement the OIC Five-Year Cotton Action Plan, underlining the need for maximal and constructive utilization of the financial and human resources abounding in the Islamic world.