New York, USA, 18 September 2023 – Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) President, H.E. Dr. Muhammad Al Jasser, and World Bank Group (WBG) President, Mr. Ajay Banga have held a strategic partnership meeting on the margins of the 78th UNGA in New York, to strengthen existing cooperation and explore new initiatives to implement development projects in shared member countries and vulnerable communities globally.
Dr. Al Jasser said the IsDB Group greatly values the partnership with the WBG, and he was looking forward to deepening it. He told Mr. Banga that IsDB's current strategic objectives revolve around boosting recovery, tackling poverty and building resilience, and driving green economic growth. He said he was worried about the negative impact of successive external shocks on the global economy. "The ongoing geopolitical and trade tensions continue to cause global food and energy volatility. Higher financing costs have slowed the pace of investment and heightened the risk of low economic growth in many IsDB member countries," Dr. Al Jasser explained.
President Al Jasser disclosed that the IsDB Group approvals reached $10.5bn in 2022, including $3bn from IsDB—53% in infrastructure. He said climate finance accounted for 33% of new commitments, of which 65% was adaptation finance. He highlighted that the risk of further disruption to global food supplies remains high amidst the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and import-dependent low-income countries, especially in Africa, will bear the brunt of global food market volatility. "The IsDB Group aims to deploy $10.5bn to address food security in member countries through 2025, in addition to $20bn of past investment in this sector. In 2022 the agriculture sector accounted for 26% of IsDB's commitments. We plan to invest up to $7.8 billion in agriculture and rural development in Africa over five years from 2023 to 2027," Dr. Al Jasser stressed.
The IsDB Chief proposed a robust pact between the two institutions that will include a co-financing target and track progress in the new IsDB-WB MoU that will provide an opportunity to give the partnership a new impetus to address critical matters such as climate change. "While the case for climate action is no longer debatable, there has been limited progress on climate finance, especially for low-income countries to manage the impact of low-carbon transition. MDBs will require greater concessional financing pools to ensure a fair and just low-carbon transition," Dr. Al Jasser emphasized.