The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has committed to strengthen the coordination of national, regional and international efforts to draw up containment strategies and enhance the capacity of health and medical personnel to stem the spread of Covid-19 in member states.
OIC made the commitment during a virtual meeting of its executive committee at the level of foreign ministers on Wednesday.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen participated in the meeting from Bangladesh.
In his statement, Momen called for collective efforts emanating from the spirit of Islam and brotherhood of Muslim Ummah to fight this pandemic together.
Bangladesh also called upon the secretariat and its organs to connect the research organisations in the field of medical sciences and medical equipment and also to incorporate the business bodies of the member states to facilitate a bulk production of the required medical items.
Taking note of the vulnerability of migrant workers across the globe, particularly in the Middle East and other OIC member states, the foreign minister urged the member states to give utmost importance on the issue of job retention of domestic and resident migrant workers so that a sudden shock of unemployment can be cushioned and the social balance can be preserved.
Bangladesh proposed to establish an OIC Covid-19 Response and Recovery Fund, based on voluntary contributions of the member states.
The country further requested to engage humanitarian organisations in member states to provide sufficient financial assistance, medical support to the Muslim migrant workers until the coronavirus impact is over and also to advocate for their job retention to ensure their healthy livelihoods.
Bangladesh also underscored the exigency of collective actions of member states to look after the well-being of Muslim refugees around the globe through resource allocation amidst this humanitarian crisis.
The current OIC executive committee comprises six member states – Bangladesh, Turkey, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Gambia, United Arab Emirates and Niger.
The meeting was chaired by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, chair of the 14th Islamic Summit Conference, with the presence of foreign ministers or designated representatives of these six countries and the OIC secretary general.
OIC executive committee urged the parties in conflict areas to declare a ceasefire, end the violence and allow medical and food assistance to reach the affected people.
The committee also appealed the humanitarian actors to provide food aid and identify safe pathways for helping the countries concerned.
It also made an appeal to the international financial institutions and the bilateral, regional and international partners, especially the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), to consider writing off the debts for least developed countries.
It also called for making financial assistance, concessional loans and basic support accessible to OIC member states to combat the Covid-19 and its aftermath.
Islamic Development Bank Group, an organ of the OIC, already announced a $2.3 billion under its Rapid Response Initiative to contain the negative effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Furthermore, Islamic Solidarity Fund, another organ of the OIC engaged in charitable activities, also established a separate account to raise resources to assist member states, especially LDCs, to strengthen their capabilities in response to the pandemic, particularly in health sector.