Ihsanoglu: "Muslim nations have pledged nearly $1 bln to flood-stricken Pakistan"
Muslim countries, organizations and individuals have pledged nearly $1 billion to help Pakistan respond to the worst floods in the nation's history, said Turkish scholar Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the head of the 57-member Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), on Sunday. The announcement came as floodwaters inundated a large town in Pakistan and authorities struggled to build new levees with clay and stone to prevent one of the area's biggest cities from suffering the same fate. The pledges came from Muslim states, nongovernmental organizations, OIC institutions and telethons held in Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, said Ihsanoglu. "They have shown that they are one of the largest contributors of assistance both in kind and cash," he said of the donors, speaking during a joint news conference with Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in Islamabad. The floods began in the mountainous northwest and have moved slowly down the country toward the coast in the south, inundating vast swaths of prime agricultural land and damaging or destroying more than 1 million homes.