Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 15 September 2021 – Islamic Development Bank President and Chairman of the IsDB Group, H.E. Dr. Muhammad Al Jasser, says the AAA-rated South-South multilateral development institution has committed itself to supporting a green and sustainable COVID-19 recovery in its 57 member countries, all members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), covering more than 1.7 billion people worldwide.
Dr. Muhammad Al Jasser made the remarks, on Wednesday, while addressing the ‘International Economic Forum of the Americas’ Conference of Montreal which was held under the theme: Towards a Fairer and Greener Economy.
During his address, Dr. Muhammad Al Jasser elaborated how the IsDB Group has committed more than US$ 4.5 billion, covering emergency health response, support for SMEs, and economic recovery in agriculture, food security, water, and sanitation sectors, targeting over 60 million beneficiaries, creating more than 65,000 jobs, and supporting over 30,000 health workers.
“The path to a green economy in developing countries will require long-term support from multilateral financial institutions and donor community as a whole through prioritizing green and climate-resilient development investments, ramping up upstream country dialogue and advisory services as well as fostering innovation and mobilizing private sector to achieve scale,” the IsDB Group Chairman stated.
Furthermore, he explained that the IsDB has made an ambitious commitment of dedicating 35% of all its finance operations to climate finance by the year 2025 adding that the Bank is strategically engaging with the public and private sector to develop pipeline green investments while addressing relevant operational and policy barriers. “We are maturing our Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) framework that will enable the integrated, systematic, and consistent ESG appraisal of our equity investments and investments in funds,” he added.
IsDB has developed a Sustainable Finance Framework through which it has successfully issued a EUR 1 billion euros Green Sukuk (Islamic equivalent of bonds) in 2019 plus US$ 2.5 billion dollars Sustainability Sukuk in 2021. The Bank also co-manages the US$ 2.5-billion Lives and Livelihoods Fund (LLF), with donors including the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, King Salman Humanitarian Aid, and Relief Centre, Qatar Fund for Development, and UK Aid. Launched by IsDB Group and its development partners, LLF supports the most vulnerable people in the Bank's member countries.
The IsDB Group Chairman noted that Group's strategy is anchored in supporting and strengthening South-South cooperation and it has already launched an Alliance for Climate Action which will help member countries access green technologies and solutions through south-south exchange and learning. “Let us act now; let us work fast for greener, developed, inclusive economies in our member countries!” he concluded.
The four-day high profile online and in-person forum (13-16 September 2021) brought together a host of high-caliber speakers from leading global entities of the development world.