Islamabad: 1st June, 2020: Coordinator General COMSTECH, Prof. Dr. M. Iqbal Choudhary requested all OIC member states to support the plight of refugees during COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Choudhary mentioned that it has been established scientifically that malnourished refugees, living in overcrowded and unhygienic conditions are especially vulnerable to infections. He recognized that we Muslims understand the importance of serving refugees in the Islamic world. He pointed that the significance of refugees is deep rooted in Islam’s commitment to generosity, hospitality and non-discriminatory protection as taught in Islamic tradition. He hoped that as Pakistan has protected Afghan refugees for over 40-years with the sincerity and belief in basic human dignity, our brothers and sisters in the Muslim Ummah through ties with this august forum of OIC will pledge their support to do the same.
Coordinator General COMSTECH highlighted that many OIC member states including Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Turkey have been generously hosting millions of refugees and emphasized, with this background in mind, we are acutely aware and recognize that there is an urgent need to configure the far-reaching impact of conflict, poverty and displacement in OIC member states. Prof. Choudhary indicated that it is in recognition of the potential threat of starvation and disease arising from the rapid spread of COVID-19 in refugees in OIC member states.
In view of these considerations, He appealed for OIC assistance, through its own offices, offices of UNHCR and other agencies, be mobilized on priority basis to protect the millions of refugees in member states. He recommended to develop and implement a special relief package to provide monetary and technical assistance to refugees that provide food, essential medicines, masks, hand sanitizers and other such essential relief items.
Coordinator General COMSTECH showed his confidence that with the support of OIC member states, we will uphold our Muslim tradition, derived from the deep-rooted Muslim faith that “in the face of the world’s calamities, all sons of Adam are equal”. He hoped that we shall persevere in protecting the most vulnerable as well as upholding the rights of refugees in our communities and work together in realizing the long-standing principles of international solidarity and burden sharing at this critical conjuncture.