FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 15, 2012 Public Information: 202-712-4810
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) agreed to strengthen their cooperation on humanitarian issues and disaster response. In a ceremony at the White House, USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah and OIC Secretary-General Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to mark the significant partnership milestone.
"USAID is at the global forefront of humanitarian assistance and response," said Shah. "Last year alone, we dispatched aid in the aftermath of 67 disasters in 54 countries, providing relief to millions, saving countless lives and building resilience against future emergencies. But we can't do it alone - our partners include American businesses, other donor nations and non-governmental and international organizations like the OIC, who are critical in our efforts."
The new partnership is a reflection of the need for greater cooperation among organizations that provide relief as the number of humanitarian emergencies rise worldwide. The MOU outlines a framework for cooperation to include mutual consultations and strategic dialogue, exchange of information, participation in disaster response and training, operational support and facilitation and coordination.
"Creating partnerships among the international humanitarian community is integral to the OIC humanitarian strategy," said Ihsanoglu. "It is a natural fit that the OIC and USAID cooperate based on our similar values in performing humanitarian aid work."
USAID and the OIC share a deep commitment to humanitarian principles and, working together, they will provide better, smarter relief to millions of people in need. The complete MOU can be found here.