The IsDB has signed two agreements to further Africa’s development, with the African Union Commission (AUC) and the African Development Bank (AfDB). The partnership with the AUC will see the parties collaborate to support broad-based sustainable development in Africa.
“[The partnership] will enhance the great potential of rapid digitization and sustainable ICT [information and communication technologies] development that can substantially reduce the digital divide and accelerate sustainable development on the continent,’’ Dr Muhammad Al Jasser, the president of the IsDB, commented on the partnership with the AUC.
The partnership will focus on policy design and analysis to promote structural transformation; domestic resources mobilization; fight against illicit financial flows; MSME development; entrepreneurship, women and youth empowerment; food security and agriculture value chain development; climate action and green transition, among others.
Under the newly signed joint action plan with the AfDB, the parties will jointly develop the health and pharmaceutical industry of African member countries. According to a statement from the IsDB, the collaboration signifies both institutions’ emphasis on boosting Africa’s health defense.
Separately, the IsDB has on the 20th February 2023 signed an amended and renewed MoU and a donor contribution agreement for the Global Islamic Fund for Refugees (GIFR) with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
The development bank signed the first MoU with the UNHCR on the 31st March last year to launch the GIFR, which was spearheaded by the IsDB’s poverty alleviation arm, the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development (ISFD).
The contributions to the GIFR will be invested and the proceeds will be channeled to fund humanitarian responses to forced displacement. The ISFD and the UNHCR have each donated US$50 million to the GIFR under the donor contribution agreement.
The MoU is hoped to develop cooperation between the development bank and the UNHCR to increase access to essential services for refugees, internally displaced persons and host communities. Essential services include clean energy, education, health and civil documentation, among others.
“In response to the challenges facing its member countries due to forced displacement and refugees, the bank has developed a Fragility and Resilience Policy which defines the strategic direction for IsDB to strengthen institutions, build resilience and contribute to social cohesion and sustainable development in its member countries,” Dr Muhammad commented.
Also as part of its humanitarian efforts, the IsDB met with the EU’s European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations to discuss the proposed cooperation in the areas of disaster risk financing and education in emergencies.