(CNSNews.com) – The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) says Muslim countries, organizations and individuals have pledged nearly $1 billion in response to the Pakistan flood emergency, and Pakistan’s prime minister says Saudi Arabia has overtaken the U.S. in responding to the crisis.
But figures made available by the United Nations call both claims into question.
With the exception of Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Kuwait, none of the OIC’s 56 member states have contributed – or pledged – donations reaching the double-digit millions.
Fifteen OIC member governments have together given or pledged a total of $157.2 million, according to the U.N. Financial Tracking Service figures dated August 27.
Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani’s remark about Saudi Arabia having outdone the U.S. – a comment made alongside a visiting Saudi prince – also appears to be inaccurate.
The State Department says the U.S. is now providing $200 million -- $150 million to support immediate relief efforts and $50 million to help impacted communities recover. That is in addition to “significant in kind and technical assistance.” It also does not include “generous contributions” by American businesses and private citizens.
The U.N. puts the U.S. figure at $155.9 million plus a further $50 million pledged. It says Saudi contributions are $74.4 million, plus a further $40 million pledged.
Separate statistics from Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) say Saudi Arabia has delivered relief worth $40 million, handed over $5.3 million in cash, and that another $67 million worth of relief is “in the pipeline.”
OIC Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu made the $1 billion announcement during a visit to Pakistan on Sunday. Earlier, he convened an emergency meeting at the OIC headquarters in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, following reports that most Muslim states were
to the massive crisis.
Ihsanoglu said on Sunday the nearly $1 billion had been pledged by Muslim governments, non-governmental organizations, OIC institutions and citizens, through telethons held in Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. He did not give more specific details.
The U.N. Financial Tracking Service figures show OIC member states’ contributions as follows:
Saudi Arabia ($74.4 million plus $50 million pledged); Turkey ($14.6 million); Kuwait ($5 million plus $5 million pledged); Oman ($5 million); Bahrain ($2.6 million); UAE ($2.1 million); Morocco ($2 million); Afghanistan ($1 million); Algeria ($1 million); Indonesia ($1 million); Malaysia ($1 million); Azerbaijan ($1 million pledged); Iran ($0.75 million); Qatar ($0.6 million) and Egypt ($0.25 million). Jordan, Sudan and Syria had pledged aid in kind, with no value assigned.
Major non-Muslim donors include the U.S. ($155.9 million plus $50 million pledged); Britain $64.7 million plus a further $43.2 million pledged); European Commission ($55.6 million plus a further $39.30 million pledged); Australia ($31.6 million); Canada ($29 million) and China ($18 million).
Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, the billionaire nephew of Saudi King Abdullah, visited Pakistan on Sunday to discuss the relief effort.
Gilani, who visited affected areas with bin Talal, said 20 million people were affected by the disaster which was triggered by heavy monsoon rains late last month.
The end of the monsoon season is still weeks away, and the flooding continues to move steadily southward.
More than 200,000 residents of Thatta near the Indus River delta were forced to evacuate their homes late last week after the swollen river breached a levee. Reports early Monday said the center of the historic town was under five feet of water.