The Palestinian Prime Minister, His Excellency Dr Muhammad Shtayyeh, addressed the General Assembly Meeting and the Annual Ceremony of the Al-Quds Fund and Al-Quds Waqf. He began his speech by praising the authentic, nationalist and patriotic position expressed by His Excellency the Foreign Minister of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques with respect to the Kingdom’s commitment to the Arab Peace Plan. He said that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia had left no room for interpretations concerning the political landscape in Palestine.
At the ceremony during which the Islamic Development Bank signed with Palestinian investors the agreement to establish the Al-Ihsan Waqf for Al-Quds and the Al-Quds Empowerment Fund agreement, Dr Shtayyeh commended the initiatives of the IsDB President, Dr Bandar Hajjar, which added valued and quality to the work and accelerated the processes. He also commended the IsDB President's eagerness to implement all agreements directly in Palestine. H.E. the Prime Minister said: "We strongly commend the initiative of His Excellency the President of the Islamic Development Bank to establish a fund for the economic empowerment of the Palestinian people with a capital of US$500 million." He added that the fund had been able to attract the Palestinian private sector, stating that we must inform the Palestinian people that the fund has become a reality, and that this initiative launched by the IsDB President is part of the economic clusters plan, especially the cluster for the capital city of Al Quds. Praising the Bank’s contributions, Dr Shtayyeh added: “The Islamic Development Bank has made a significant contribution in favour of Palestine to help it address the Coronavirus, making contributions in Gaza and in Al-Quds, which solidifies the unity of the Palestinian territories. The Bank has also made contributions to empowerment projects and to the reconstruction of Nahr Al Barid camp in Lebanon”.
Before closing his speech, Dr Shtayyeh reiterated his thanks to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, saying: "We express our gratitude and appreciation to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in particular for its continuous support, including the most recent initiative of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques to support endowments in the city of Al-Quds with US$150 million." He also commended all Arab countries without exception for the support and financing they have provided through the IsDB or directly, saying that such support has strengthened “our steadfastness on our land”.
For his part, the President of the Islamic Development Bank commended the role of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in launching numerous initiatives in favour of Palestine in general and Al-Quds in particular. These initiatives include the establishment of the Al-Aqsa and Al-Quds Funds with financial resources amounting to 1 billion US dollars, whose management has been entrusted to the Bank. The President added that, upon the initiative of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development (ISFD) was established to fight poverty. The fund, to which the Kingdom contributed 1 billion dollars, is contributing to the establishment of the Al-Ihsan Fund whose agreement was signed during this ceremony. His Excellency the President of the Bank stated that in 2018 the Kingdom took the initiative to establish a US$150 million Waqf fund to support Awqaf projects in the city of Al-Quds, with the management of the fund being entrusted to the IsDB. Also, two months ago, the Palestinian People Economic Empowerment Fund, which will work with the poor and unemployed youth, was launched with an initial capital of US$500 million. The IsDB will contribute US$100 million and the ISFD, the IsDB poverty alleviation arm, US$50 million.