International Humanitarian Conference for Yemen Planned

International Humanitarian Conference for Yemen Planned
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International Humanitarian Conference for Yemen Planned

World’s largest Muslim Body convenes UN, World Bank and over 40 nations to plan international humanitarian conference for Yemen

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the world’s second largest inter-governmental organisation, convened senior representatives from the UN, World Bank and ambassadorial diplomats from over 40 nations yesterday at a preparatory meeting for a humanitarian conference to support Yemen. The OIC Secretary General also called for the “adoption of quality humanitarian intervention initiatives” that are “commensurate to the scale of the humanitarian crisis in Yemen”.

The OIC, a body spanning 57 Muslim nations, has committed to organising an international conference to provide humanitarian and development assistance to the Yemeni people. The conference will take in cooperation with the United Nations, the Yemeni Government, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and several international donors, namely the USA, Germany, Sweden, Japan and the UK.

Yesterday’s preparatory meeting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, focused on pooling efforts from partnering organisations (including the Gulf Cooperation Council and the World Bank) and participating countries in the planning of such a conference.

Nations represented at the meeting by official Ambassadors to Riyadh included the United States, the United Kingdom, China, Germany, Italy, Japan, Australia, the Netherlands, Finland, as well as several OIC member states from the Muslim world.

In his address, the UN Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Partnerships with Middle East, Central Asia, Mr. Rashid Khalikov said that only $150 million had been received from the total $1.6 billion pledged by international donors in 2016. He added that seven million people in Yemen do not know from where they will get their next meal.

Abdur-Raqueeb Saif Fath, Minister of Local Administration and Chairman of the Higher Committee for Relief in Yemen, presented UN findings of the scale of the humanitarian disaster in Yemen. These included:

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· 21.2 million Yemenis needing different forms of humanitarian aid;
· 19.3 million Yemenis not having access to safe drinking water;
· 14.1 million Yemenis suffering a shortage of food;
· 2.2 million Yemeni children suffering from acute malnutrition.

The OIC Secretary General, General Yousuf Al-Othaimeen, said “the aim of this meeting is to find ways to support the Yemeni people”.

He added “today, we are required to adopt -in cooperation with other international organizations- quality initiatives for humanitarian intervention that would be commensurate to the scale of the humanitarian crisis in Yemen. The conference that is being planned is an important step towards boosting response and coordination system among active parties in Yemen to ensure non-multiplication or duplication of mechanisms”

The Secretary General also stressed the need to “bridge the huge gap in the required financing for humanitarian action in Yemen”.

END

To arrange an interview or request an opinion article/comment from an OIC official, or for any further media enquiries please contact Shiraz Ahmad on shiraz@unitascommunications.com or +44 (0) 207 566 2195.

NOTES TO EDITOR

· The OIC was founded in 1969 and is the second largest inter-governmental organisation in the world with 57 sovereign member states from across the Islamic world.
· The organisation is “the collective voice of the Muslim world and works to “safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony”.
· The OIC has permanent delegations to the United Nations and the European Union.

· The OIC is composed three organs:
– Islamic Summit: the supreme authority of the Organization composed of Kings and Heads of State and which convenes every three years.
– The Council of Foreign Ministers: which meets annually for the implementation of general policy
– General Secretariat: the OIC’s executive organ, entrusted with the implementation of the decisions of the two preceding bodies

· Bodies that form part of the OIC include:
– The Islamic Development Bank (IDB), set up by OIC Finance Ministers in 1973. IDB tripled its authorized capital to $150 billion to better serve Muslims in member and non-member countries in 2013.
– Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) established by the OIC in 1979.

· On 27 June 2007, the-United States President George W. Bush established an official US envoy to the OIC to “listen to and learn from representatives from Muslim states, and will share with them America’s views and values.”
· The OIC has permanent delegations to the United Nations and the European Union.

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