Islamic Development Bank Approves USD1.096 Billion to Reduce Poverty in MENA

Islamic Development Bank’s (IsDB) Board of Executive Directors (BED) recently gave finance approval to member and non-member countries for various high-profile infrastructure development projects to help reduce poverty and accelerate job creation opportunities in the MENA region.

By Jagdish Kumar

High profile projects marked for funding include infrastructure projects in Tunisia worth USD80 million; Suriname’s USD 35 million affordable housing project (Low Income Shelter Program III); Turkey’s USD 208 million clean energy and energy infrastructure programme; Uganda’s USD 60 million local economic growth project; and Jordan’s AUD 80 million emergency health project.

The BED also approved three special-assistance projects to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kenya and Rwanda.

At the recent IsBD board meeting convened in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in July 2017, IsDB President Dr Bandar Hajjar says that building the infrastructure of member countries is important to accelerate development opportunities.

“Infrastructure development provides employment opportunities and reduces poverty. The theme of our Annual Meet is youth economic empowerment. Infrastructure projects provide significant opportunities for our youth,” says Hajjar.

IsDB also recently approved USD 1.09 billion for other members countries as well as some non-member countries too.

Sectors with funding approval include: power generation, water supply and sanitation, industry, housing, communications, agriculture, and health as well as many educational and health projects for Muslim communities in non-member countries.

According to the IsBD’s public statement, the approvals of the Board includes:

  • USD24.1 million for the Health Resilience Project in Lebanon;
  • USD102.8 million for the 50 MW Power Plant of Kossodo in Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso;
  • USD 165.4 million for the Sirakoro 100 MW Thermal Power Plant in Mali;
  • USD 216.63 million for the Infrastructure Development Project for the Expansion of Rusayl Industrial Estate in Oman;
  • USD 95.24 million for the Rural and Peri-Urban Housing Finance Project in Bangladesh;
  • USD 273 million for the Telecommunication Network Enhancement Project in Turkmenistan;
  • USD53.71 million for the Agriculture Infrastructure and Value Chain Development Project in Cameroon;
  • USD 15.4 million for the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Project in N’Zerekore Region in Guinea;
  • USD115.6 million for contribution to financing of two power generation projects in Egypt (the Non-Sovereign Project Financing Participation in 3×50 MW Photovoltaic Solar Power Project (Feed in Tariff Program) – round II – as well as the Scatec Solar Project);
  • USD56 million for the Abour 49.5 MW wind Farm Project in Jordan; and USD 83.8 million for the Turkish Public Health Campus Project in Turkey.

A total amount of USD1.2 million was also approved in the framework of special assistance operations under the IsDB Waqf Fund to contribute to educational and health projects for Muslim communities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Fiji, Kenya, Malawi, Somalia, and South Africa.

Partnership with African Development Bank

IsDB also signed an USD 2.08 billion partnership with African Development Bank (AfDB) to accelerate development in Africa.

The agreement was signed in July between IsDB President and AfDB President, Dr Akinwumi Adesina at the AfDB headquarters in Cote D’Ivoire.

The agreement will focus on common areas of interest such as agriculture and food security, energy and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

Dr. Akinwumi Adesina stated that IsDB and AfDB can work together to accelerate the development of Africa by focusing on the areas of alignment between AfDB’s High 5 and IsDB’s President’s 5-Year Programme (P5P).

IsDB is based in Saudi Arabia since 1974 to provide equity capital and loans for productive projects to member countries in other forms for economic and social development.

Any member of the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) can become a member of IsDB, which currently has 57-member countries.

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