Wednesday, January 12, 2011

OIC Secretary General inaugurates 600 Housing Unites for Pakistanis affected by the Floods

The Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu inaugurated the construction of 100 housing unites in D G Khan Village in the Punjab province being the first phase of a project totaling 600 housing unites funded by the OIC in six provinces in the country. The special ceremony was held on Tuesday 11 January 2011 in the presence of the Prime Minister of Pakistan, H. E. Yousaf Raza Gillani and high-ranking government officials, dignitaries and guests.

The housing unites were sponsored using funds contributed by the staff of the OIC General Secretariat and OIC organs in addition to assistance from Cameroon and Guyana. At the ceremony, Ihsanoglu presented a speech in which he underscored OIC assistance for the people affected by the floods that hit Pakistan last year. At the ceremony, the Secretary General received some of the people benefiting from the housing units to be built by the OIC for the people affected by the floods. This project comes in support of the Secretary General's efforts to rally support from the Muslim Ummah and civil society institutions to assist the people of Pakistan affected by the latest devastating floods.

Worth mentioning that the OIC Secretary General had played a proactive advocacy role in raising the awareness among the OIC Member States about the devastation caused by the unprecedented floods immediately after it occurred. And in response to the Secretary General's call for rendering assistance to Pakistan, the Member States governments and civil societies have in total allocated assistance and pledges to support Pakistan which amounted to 1 billion USD out of which a total of 680 Million US Dollars has been committed. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has allocated 250 Million USD in addition to shipment of humanitarian assistance to Pakistan immediately after the floods hit the country, and Turkey which has pledged to allocate 200 Million USD and Iran which has pledged to allocate 100 Million USD.

During the event, the Secretary General also honored the renowned Pakistani artist Mr. Abrar Ul Haq by designating him the first OIC Humanitarian Ambassador. This designation comes in recognition of Mr. Abrar's eminence in philanthropic and social work in his country and abroad to support needy people. It will enable him to promote the OIC humanitarian cause in his country and in other OIC Member States.

Earlier in the day, the Secretary General addressed the 14th Session of the General Assembly of the OIC Standing Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation (COMSTECH) which will last three days.

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