Singapore : Sunday, September 17, 2006

H.E. Prof. B.J. Habibie, former President of the Republic of Indonesia and Vice Chairman of the IDB Vision 1440H Commission which was instrumental in drafting the Vision 1440H Report, is expected to present a talk on the Islamic Development Bank's Vision 1440H (2020) at a luncheon on the occasion of the World Bank/IMF Annual Meetings being currently held in Singapore.

As part of the initiative to help it adapt and respond to the changes and critical issues surrounding its member countries, the IDB has recently outlined a long-term vision that will guide its strategic development programs over the next 15 years.

In Singapore to attend the IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings, the President of IDB, H.E. Dr. Ahmad Mohamed Ali, who will preside over the reception is expected to meet with several organizations to articulate the bank's Vision 1440H (2020) – a wide-ranging strategy for meeting the following challenges and achieving success by the year 2020:

1. The challenge of achieving healthy human development
2. The challenge of securing strong and sustainable economic growth
3. The challenge of promoting good governance
4. The challenge of strengthening peace and stability
5. The challenge of fostering a powerful sense of common identity, consciousness and empathy as members of the Ummah , and
6. The challenge of restoring the image of the Muslim World

Given the strategic challenges facing the member countries, and the Islamic vision of development, IDB has formulated several key objectives. The bank intends to become a world-class development bank, inspired by Islamic principles that has helped significantly transform the landscape of comprehensive human development in the Muslim world. In addition, recognising the greater role it plays in the global community of its member countries, the IDB has also reaffirmed its mission to promote comprehensive human development, with a focus on the priority areas of alleviating poverty, improving health, promoting education, improving governance and prospering the people.

Dr Ahmad Mohamed Ali said, "The mission of IDB is to promote comprehensive human development, with a focus on the priority areas of alleviating poverty, improving health, promoting education, improving governance and prospering the people. This is a cause like no other. IDB is privileged to be entrusted with the responsibility."

In line with its mission, IDB has recently launched several new initiatives at its recently concluded Annual Meeting in Kuwait during which it approved the establishment of an International Trade financing Insitituion with US$ 3 billion as capital for promoting trade and a Poverty Alleviation Fund in which Saudi Arabia and Kuwait pledged US$1 billion and US$ 300 million respectively along with some other member countries.

In the Asian region, IDB came up with a US$500 million package for tsunami victims in Indonesia, Maldives , Somalia, Thailand, India and Sri Lanka. The fund which is under opertion has already implemented projects wortth US$ 300 million and is being utilized for relief operations and reconstruction of infrastructure, especially in the fields of education, health, energy and transportation.

Recently, the IDB Board of Executive Directors has also announced an allocation of US$250 million to support the efforts of rehabilitating facilities and projects in Lebanon.

This contribution will be geared towards construction and rehabilitation of destroyed infrastructure facilities, including schools, hospitals, power networks and roads in addition to new public sector projects in coordination with the Lebanese Government.