Today, the President of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), H.E. Dr Bandar Hajjar, met with the President of Pakistan, Dr. Arif Alvi, and the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Ahmed Khan Niazi, to discuss ways in which the IsDB can implement its new vision to support the Government’s development agenda for financial inclusion, economic empowerment and future aspirations.
The meetings formed part of the second day of H.E. Dr Bandar Hajjar’s official visit to Pakistan, which also saw the President visit the Neelum-Jhelum Hydro Power Plant which was recently completed in April 2018, for which the IsDB provided a total financing of US$358 million. This was followed by a meeting at the Emergency Operating Center (EOC) for the Polio Eradication Program with Dr Zafar Mirza, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination. The IsDB contributed a total of US$ 327 million to the Polio Program in Pakistan, with polio now at the verge of being eradicated from Pakisan following the project.
The President also visited the Islamic International University Islamabad (IIUI) and later attended the inauguration for the launch of the Mobile Medical Clinics in Islamabad. The project will provide primary health care services through the provision of 15 mobile clinics for vulnerable people in rural areas of Pakistan.
During his meetings with the Prime Minister and the President of Pakistan, H.E. Dr Bandar Hajjar outlined his new Five Year Program (P5P) and as part of that, highlighted the Bank’s commitment to supporting sustainable development in member countries, including Pakistan. Part of this support includes the establishment of a US$500 million Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Endowment Fund.
Pakistan is the third largest beneficiary of IsDB Group financing among its 57 Member Countries. Since inception, the IsDB Group has approved total financing of US$12.43 billion for Pakistan. In the past few years, the IsDB Group has substantially assisted the country in meeting its development objectives, especially through the successful implementation of the first Member Country Partnership Strategy (MCPS) of the IsDB Group for Pakistan that was implemented during 2012-2015, whereby financing worth US$3.77 billion had been approved.
In a speech addressing the Pakistani business community in Islamabad, the President of the IsDB, H.E. Dr. Bandar M.H. Hajjar, said: “I am pleased to highlight that our support for the private sector development has been exemplary in Pakistan. I would like to commend the strong and continued support from the Government and the Private Sector in Pakistan. The IsDB Group will continue enhancing cooperation with both public and private sectors in all priority sectors and it stands committed to supporting the Government’s “Roadmap for Stability, Growth and Productive Employment”, in line with the four pillars of the IsDB President’s Five-Year Program.”
The speech in Islamabad follows the launch of the President’s new book at the 44th IsDB Annual Meeting in Marrakesh last month, entitled “The Road to the SDG’s: A New Business Model for a Fast-Changing World”, which sets out his new vision for how the world can meet the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, and the Bank’s role in supporting its member countries in achieving these targets.
The IsDB’s belief is that the traditional model of development is broken and there needs to be a notable shift to a new strategy in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs represent a new era, raising the level of development finance required from the order of billions to that of trillions and that the sheer magnitude of these challenges is beyond the capacity of any individual institution. The four core pillars of the President’s Five-Year Plan aim are targeted at achieving this, namely: Public-Private Partnerships; Science, Technology and Innovation (STI); Global Value Chain and Islamic Finance.
Tomorrow will see H.E. Dr Bandar Hajjar host the fifth edition of the Transformers Roadshow competition in Islamabad, in which applicants are invited to pitch ideas accelerating one or more of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Previous editions have taken place in Niger, Kazakhstan, Bangladesh and Uzbekistan where the Bank has awarded nine innovators a cash prize of US$3,000.