The IsDB’s board of directors has approved US$403 million in financing for three sustainable projects at its 350th board meeting, with Phase 1 of Egypt’s Electric Express Train project receiving the lion’s share of the funding at EUR318 million (US$345.22 million).
“The transformative projects approved in this board meeting will have a significant impact on improving transportation, education and energy, as well as promoting regional economic integration and addressing emergency situations,” Dr Muhammad Al Jasser, the president of the IsDB and chairman of the board, commented.
The Electric Express Train project targets to develop a 660 km climate-resilient electric railway system and is expected to benefit 25 million people annually. According to the development bank, the transport system will reduce 250,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year.
With the aim to improve the learning environment in Tajikistan, the IsDB approved US$35 million in financing to the second phase of the National Education Development Strategy of Tajikistan with the Islamic Solidary Fund for Development, the IsDB’s capacity-building arm, also contributing US$10 million to the project.
As part of its ongoing co-financed project, the IsDB approved US$13 million in additional funding for the Central Asia South Asia Electricity Transmission and Trade Project in Kyrgyzstan, with the bank originally approving financing worth US$50 million in 2014.
The project seeks to meet the electricity demand in Afghanistan and Pakistan through the establishment of a cross-border energy exchange among Afghanistan, Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan and Tajikistan as part of its regional economic integration strategy.
Notably, the World Bank has contributed significantly to this project, approving US$526.5 million in grant and credit financing in 2014 and approving additional financing worth US$65 million in 2019.
“This transmission infrastructure project will put in place the commercial and institutional arrangements as well as the infrastructure required for 1,300 megawatts of sustainable electricity trade,” a statement from the World Bank read.
Also at the meeting, the board deliberated extending an emergency grant funding to Turkiye and Syria in the aftermath of the 2023 Turkiye–Syria earthquake.