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Funds pledged for Somalia at Istanbul meeting of Islamic nations

(Xinhua)

09:19, August 18, 2011

ISTANBUL, Aug. 17 (Xinhua) -- An emergency meeting held in Istanbul on Wednesday to assist Somalia succeeded in raising 350 million U.S. dollars for the drought-stricken country in the Horn of Africa.

The delegates from 35 countries also agreed on how to transport the aid to Somalia and to set up a task force to maintain awareness about the country.

"Our three main objectives today were to create awareness in the Islamic world about Somalia, to establish mechanisms for the transfer of aid and to create a task force. We succeeded in all of it," said Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

Davutoglu made the remarks at a press conference after an emergency meeting of the executive committee of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Turkey's largest city of Istanbul to discuss ways to help the people of drought-plagued Somalia.

"We managed to show the political will of all the Islamic countries to make more donations for Somalia today," said Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, secretary general of the OIC.

"We had an aim of getting commitments to the tune of 500 million U.S. dollars and we collected 350 million dollars with the hope that the remainder is attained shortly," said Ihsanoglu.

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