Jeddah (UNA-OIC) – The General Secretariat of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and its financial, juristic and research institutions participated on 12 July in a virtual workshop organized by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) mission in the Gulf on the topic: “Harnessing Islamic social finance mechanisms to support displaced populations and host communities in OIC Member States”.
In his remarks at the opening session, OIC Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Affairs Dr. Ahmed Sengendo recalled the commitment of Secretary-General Dr. Yousef Al-Othaimeen that Islamic social finance mechanisms for humanitarian and developmental response to the world’s refugees and displaced person crisis should achieve the greatest impact possible.
More than half of the world’s over 82 million refugees and displaced persons are in OIC Member States, which bear the biggest hosting burden.
He called for efforts to find radical solutions to their plight, for them to benefit from promising Islamic finance products, and to discover their most effective systems capable of providing the most suitable mechanisms to deal effectively with the perennial problems, in particular the humanitarian, social and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Assistant Secretary-General also gave a detailed presentation on the humanitarian and developmental efforts of the OIC General Secretariat to assist member states through its humanitarian strategies, coordinating humanitarian action, programs, activities and assistance, as well as outstanding partnerships with international actors in the humanitarian field.
The General Secretariat seeks to support the vulnerable segments in the member states and the Muslim communities and uplift their humanitarian and developmental endeavors in line with the principle of the Islamic sharia, the OIC Charter, the Ten-Year Program of Action and relevant international conventions. The possibility of using Islamic social finance mechanisms for refugees and displaced persons is a promising addition to the effort to improve their difficult humanitarian situation.
For his part, UNHCR Representative Khaled Khalifa underscored, during his intervention, the commitment of the agency to strengthening cooperation with the OIC in the humanitarian field, particularly the forcefully evicted refugees and displaced persons.