Jakarta, 15 October 2018 - H.E. Dr. Bandar Hajjar, President of Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) met H.E. Mr. Joko Widodo, the President of Indonesia at the Presidential Palace today in Jakarta and expressed, on behalf of IsDB, his sincere condolences for the victims of the recent earthquake in Sulawesi. He informed that IsDB has approved on 9 October 2018  a Technical Assistance Grant for US$1Million (IDR 15 Billion) to support the emergency relief efforts and recovery solutions and that the Bank has also pledged to work in the recovery phase later on, in close coordination with the Indonesian Authorities, Local Communities, and Other Partners.

H.E. Dr. Bandar Hajjar, the President of IsDB, highlighted the importance of shifting from aid to economic empowerment focusing on building long-term economic resilience for the communities in the affected areas through providing microfinance, supporting micro and small enterprises while adopting a value chain approach in areas like agriculture, agroindustry, and fishery.

H.E. Dr. Bandar Hajjar mentioned that human capital is one of the key areas that IsDB is focusing on. In support of this, the IsDB has created two initiatives this year: The Engage digital hub to connect innovators, small and middle enterprises, business, NGOs and government entities through innovation and science-led development initiatives, and the$500m Transform fund to finance entrepreneurs for challenges in 6 Sustainable Development Goals areas including food security, water sanitation, renewable energy, quality education, health and well-being, and infrastructure.

H.E. Dr. Hajjar added that IsDB is empowering young people by providing them with scholarship programmes to further develop human capacity under the umbrella of sustainability science. His Excellency stressed that extending aid without a design for impact offers only a short-term solution. He proposed establishing a special fund for Economic Empowerment in affected areas seeded by IsDB, the Indonesian Government as well as private sector and other donors and developers. The President, IsDB mentioned that this model has been successful in other IsDB Member Countries.

H.E. Joko Widodo appreciated the support from the IsDB to Indonesia, especially at this difficult time for the country. The President also supported economic empowerment initiative while emphasizing the need for effective coordination and timely implementation.