OIC Funds Urged for Refugees

The United Nations urged the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) on Friday, October 13, to mobilize political and financial support for the refugees dilemma in the Muslim world.

OIC Funds Urged for Refugees

"The OIC is the second-largest international organization and many in the OIC are wealthy donors bilaterally," Indrika Ratwatte, assistant representative of the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in Pakistan, told Agence France-Presse (AFP).

He said the OIC, currently chaired by Malaysia, is asked to foster more coordinated ways of sharing the resources of its member states to help in the emerging challenges.

"This would include a more centralized system of funding for refugee agencies," he elaborated.

UN sources say the refugee agency relies on donors for 94 percent of its funding, but that while nearly half of the world's refugees are in the Muslim world, most of the funding still comes from Western nations and Japan.

The OIC countries are host to an estimated 9.4 million of the 20.8 million refugees and others of concern to UNHCR worldwide, according to the UN.

The figure excludes Palestinian refugees displaced from their homes by the Israeli occupation forces, as they fall under the mandate of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).

The UNHCR Office was established on December 14, 1950 by the United Nations General Assembly.

The agency is mandated to lead and co-ordinate international action to protect refugees and other persons of concern, asylum seekers and internally displaced persons worldwide.


Ratwatte has also called for a clear-cut "strategy" from the pan-Muslim body to help resolve the refugees problem.

"Refugees and displacement issues in the OIC region are not going to go away. It is going to require a strategy," he said.

The 57-member OIC will hold a three-day meeting in Pakistan in November in cooperation with the UNHCR to work out an action plan to find lasting solutions for displaced people.

The meeting will also discuss a so-called "Islamabad Declaration" which would be the first ever document to set out the OIC's position on refugees.

"I think all the participants would like to see a platform to foster some multilateral cooperation," Ratwatte said.

Similar documents have been adopted by African and Latin American nations, forming key planks of the international legal framework on displaced people.

No similar documents had been adopted before by the OIC.

Challenge Fronts

Lebanese and Iraqis fleeing the scourge of war have exacerbated the refugees crisis and opened new challenge fronts.

More than 900,000 people have been displaced by the five-week Israeli bombardments, which also killed up to 1,200 civilians, a third of whom were children.

Thousands of homes, dozens of bridges and hundreds of kilometers of roads were also destroyed in the Israeli blitz.

Iraq is also another challenge front for the refugee agency in the Islamic world, with the continuous exodus of more than 40,000 people a month fleeing violence and bloodshed in the war-ravaged country.

"Many of them are moving on to other countries in what could be termed a steady, silent exodus," Ron Redmond, a spokesman for the UNHCR told AFP Friday.

More than 365,000 people have fled their homes in Iraqi since sectarian violence intensified in February, the United Nations said this week.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16