Burma_Myanmar: Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) $25 million for Rohingya and Rakhine

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has collected around US$25 million in funds during the second consultative meeting on humanitarian aid in Doha, Qatar on Friday for victims of the Rohingya-Rakhine conflict in Myanmar. The funds will be used for rehabilitation and reconstruction in the areas affected by the conflict.

Leaders of the humanitarian institution collected about $15 million, while the remaining $10 million was obtained from other OIC members who had committed their financial help before the meeting.

OIC deputy secretary-general Atta El-Manan Bakhit said he believed the funds would increase. “The large, rich countries haven’t donated yet,” he said.

OIC members, including Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and United Arab Emirates pledged to give between $50 million and $100 million during the first consultative meeting in Malaysia last August.

Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) chairman Jusuf Kalla, who attended the second meeting, said in his presentation that the OIC members needed to focus and take a definite step to resolve the conflict and avoid long discussions over data and action plans.

“The longer we delay, the greater our challenge will be. The Rohingya and Rakhine people will also suffer for longer,” he said.

Kalla asked the forum to decide three things in resolving the conflict: finalizing the action plan, collecting funds and establishing the system and organization to execute the plan.

Members at the second consultative meeting eventually agreed to form a consortium to speed up the rehabilitation of areas affected by the conflict.

The OIC will also collaborate with the PMI to open a representative office in Myanmar after both organizations signed an agreement letter with the Myanmar government and Myanmar Red Cross to pave the way for volunteers in the mission.

According to the Myanmar government, victims need at least 8,000 homes — each one costing $5,000. A further $50 million to $100 million in funds will also be needed to rebuild houses, educational and health facilities, sanitation and other infrastructure in areas such as Buthidaung, Maungdaw and Sittwe in Rakhine province.

Recent tensions between Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine left at least a dozen civilians dead and hundreds of homes destroyed. Around 70 thousand people are still living in refugee camps. (cor)   http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2012/10/05/oic-collects-25-million-rohingya-and-rakhine.html

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