Jakarta (ANTARA) - Pakistan will host an extraordinary session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) on December 19 to address the serious and deteriorating humanitarian situation in Afghanistan.

The OIC Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) session is scheduled to take place in Islamabad on December 19, 2021, according to a statement from the Embassy of Pakistan here, Friday.

Afghanistan currently faces a severe humanitarian crisis, with millions of Afghans, including women and children, urgently in need of food, medicine, and other essential life supplies, according to the statement.

According to the United Nations World Food Programme, around 22.8 million people -- more than half the population of Afghanistan -- face acute food shortages, while 3.2 million Afghan children and 700 thousand women are at risk of acute malnutrition.

It cannot be ruled out that Afghanistan’s current situation is heading towards a potential economic collapse that would not only be a humanitarian tragedy but also exacerbate the security situation, spur instability, and lead to a mass exodus of refugees. This would have grave consequences for international peace and stability.

Against this backdrop, Pakistan has welcomed the initiative of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia -- the Summit Chair of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) -- to convene an Extraordinary Session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) on the situation in Afghanistan, according to the statement.

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The objectives for convening the session of OIC-CFM include: to express solidarity of the Muslim Ummah with the Afghan people; to play its part in containing and reversing the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, especially in terms of food shortages, displacement of people, and potential economic collapse; and to galvanize international support for the provision of urgent and sustained humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people.

Pakistan has been engaged in intense diplomatic outreach, illustrated by the prime minister's contacts with world leaders, the foreign minister's visit to four neighboring countries of Afghanistan (Iran, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan), establishment of the six neighboring countries’ platform at Pakistan's initiative, participation in the Moscow format meetings, and hosting of the Troika plus meeting.

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Pakistan believes that continued engagement of the international community with Afghanistan is imperative, and the OIC can lead the way in helping our Afghan brothers and sisters, according to the statement.

"We believe that the Extraordinary session would provide an opportunity to consider practical and concrete steps to help address the humanitarian needs of the Afghan people," the statement noted.

Pakistan counts on the full support of the OIC member states and the international community to extend all possible support to the Afghan people in this hour of dire need. On its part, Pakistan will continue to stand by our Afghan brethren, according to the statement.

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Reporter: Azis Kurmala
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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