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Muslim world body to create civil society aid unit

April 8, 2014

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The world’s largest bloc of Islamic countries says that 14 non-governmental organizations have pledged $300,000 dollars to establish a new office that seeks to improve international coordination to assist Muslims affected by natural disasters and wars around the world.

It marks the first time that the Organization of Islamic Cooperation opens its doors to civil society organizations to join the group. The OIC has 57 Muslim-majority member states and has traditionally only represented governments through its work.

OIC Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Atta El-Manan Bakhiet told The Associated Press Tuesday the new office will be established in the OIC’s Jiddah headquarters in Saudi Arabia.

Organizations represented in the new office include the International Islamic Relief Organization of Saudi Arabia and the Organization of Islamic Relief Worldwide of Britain.

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