Islamic Development Bank Group signs financing deals worth $5.4b - GulfToday

Islamic Development Bank Group signs financing deals worth $5.4b


Dr Mohammed Sulaiman Al Jasser speaks during the event in Jeddah.

The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group concluded on Saturday its annual meetings held under the auspices of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud from 10th to 13th May 2023 in Jeddah under the theme “Partnerships to Fend off Crises”, Saudi Press Agency reported.

The four-day annual meetings witnessed the attendance of 4,452 participants from 90 countries, in addition to the participation of 89 international and regional partner organizations.The meetings included launching several significant projects and signing financing agreements between 24 member countries worth $5.4 billion to address the severe challenges facing the countries of the south of the world.The signed agreements cover the fields of healthcare, agriculture, food security, small and medium enterprises, education, and humanitarian support.

President of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group, Dr Mohammed Sulaiman Al-Jasser, said, “Over the past four days, we have discussed with the member states and partners a wide range of development issues and the future of the IsDB Group.”The IsDB meetings also launched seven significant projects. They signed several agreements that include financing six projects in sustainable development, with a value of more than $558 million, focusing on inclusive growth and developing infrastructure in the Bank’s member states.

Regarding humanitarian aid provided within the framework of Afghanistan Humanitarian Trust Fund (AHTF), managed by the IsDB, the Group signed seven agreements for projects of sustainable development in Afghanistan with a value of $8 billion, including grants from King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief).

Financing for education: The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) announced the first allocation of $280 million in innovative financing for education through the Arab Coordination Group Smart Education Financing Initiative (ACG SmartEd) to Cameroon, the Kyrgyz Republic and Uzbekistan. These countries will be the first to access funding under the initiative, to support effective and sustainable programs that will get millions more boys and girls into school and learning.”In our efforts to build better and more resilient education systems, member countries like Cameroon, the Kyrgyz Republic and Uzbekistan must be supported with financial tools to complement domestic resources. Through this Initiative, the IsDB, GPE and our Arab development partners are stepping up our commitment to expand available funding for education,” said Dr. Muhammad Sulaiman Al Jasser, Chairman of the Islamic Development Bank Group.

“The world needs innovative ways to attract more funding and match it to the demands of lower-income countries to transform education systems and allow all girls and boys to contribute to the growth and stability of their communities,” said Laura Frigenti, GPE’s Chief Executive Officer.Developed in December 2021 by GPE and the ACG, a grouping of Arab financial development institutions, the SmartEd initiative has generated $500 million to support education in lower-income countries. ACG is providing $400 million alongside $100 million from the GPE Multiplier, an innovative financing tool that attracts investments from other donors. Funds under the initiative are accessible to 37 countries that are members of the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation and collectively are home to nearly 28 million out-of-school children. By crowding in additional funding for education, innovative mechanisms like SmartEd and the GPE Multiplier help strengthen responses to the learning crisis in lower-income countries, ensuring that governments can access funding on more favorable terms for education programs.

Policymakers and business leaders from around the world are deliberated over how to tackle obstacles to sustainable development during the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group’s Annual Meetings in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Held under the theme, “Partnerships to Fend off Crises,” the 48th edition of the annual meetings has brought together high-ranking government officials and senior business executives to discuss a range of topics such as poverty alleviation, healthcare, education, women and youth empowerment, food security, and climate change.

The four-day event includes both high-level plenary sessions and technical symposiums, to identify effective solutions for economic and development issues faced by the IsDB Group’s 57 member countries (MCs) and its partners.

On the opening day on Wednesday, the IsDB Group Boards Meeting approved financing valued at more than $558 million for six projects in member countries. The projects focus on supporting inclusive growth and infrastructure development in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The day also witnessed the launch of the ‘IsDB Group Integration Report for Arab Region,’ which measures the progress of economic integration within the Arab region and provides a framework to strengthen trade between the Bank’s MCs.

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