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Saudi Arabia donates 20M rials to provide vaccines in 22 OIC least-developed countries

OIC Secretary-General Yousef A Al-Othaimeen and other leaders at a press conference in Jeddah on September 13. 2021. Photo: OIC

Jeddah, Sep 14 (MNN) The OIC has announced that Saudi Arabia, chairman of the 14th Islamic Summit, has donated 20 million Saudi riyals (around Rs 40 crore) to support Organisation of Islamic Cooperation initiative to provide COVID-19 vaccines for health workers and the elderly in 22 OIC least-developed countries, including Palestine.

The OIC General Secretariat leaders told a press conference at its headquarters in Jeddah on Monday (local time) that the donation had been made in coordination with King Salman Humanitarian Aid And Relief Centre (KSrelief).

OIC Secretary-General Yousef A Al-Othaimeen stressed that the initiative comes in the context of continuous efforts to enhance Islamic solidarity and support the issues of the Muslim world, enhance its role, strengthen its presence on the international arena, and develop joint Islamic action in all fields between member-states and the rest of the world for the good of the Muslim nation.

The Secretary-General pointed out that the General Secretariat had approved the initiative of the Islamic Solidarity Fund (ISF) to allocate a bank account to help member-states, especially the LDCs in the three geographical groups, to address the coronavirus pandemic.

The General Secretariat had held a series of emergency meetings at several levels, starting with the emergency Foreign Ministers meeting chaired by Saudi Arabia, in April 2020, preceded by a meeting of the OIC Steering Committee on Health.

Both were followed by a number of meetings of specialised and subsidiary organs in the educational, religious and women’s fields in order to address problems of those categories resulting from the outbreak of the pandemic.

The Secretary-General noted the response of the Islamic Development Bank Group, which launched the Strategic Preparedness and Response Programme for the COVID-19 pandemic, which was the best help and support in these painful conditions, explaining also that the General Secretariat launched a wide media and awareness campaign at the beginning of the pandemic outbreak and employed all its electronic capabilities in order to keep pace with the change that occurred in addressing the pandemic at that time.

The OIC has opened a bank account for purchasing and delivering vaccines, approved by the World Health Organisation, for countries concerned in cooperation with the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre.

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