IsDB Group Chairman to ACG Meeting: “We will Provide Unwavering Support for Building Resilient and Climate-Smart Agriculture”

Vienna, Austria, 21 June 2022 – Addressing the Arab Coordination Group (ACG) Meeting in Vienna, Austria, on 20 June 2022, Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) President and Group Chairman, H.E. Dr. Muhammad Al Jasser, stated that the Bank, as per its updated strategy endorsed by its recent Board of Governors’ meeting in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, will provide unwavering support to its member countries to build resilient and climate-smart agriculture.

Furthermore, Dr. Al Jasser told the ACG Members that the revised strategy will set the ground for improving the strategic food buffer stocks of the Bank’s member countries, expand small holder access to remunerative markets, and invest in agriculture commodity value chains that generate opportunities for women and youth.

He then referred to the United Nations estimates indicating that "the number of severely food-insecure people has doubled in just two years, from 135 million pre-pandemic to 276 million today, with more than half a million experiencing famine conditions, an increase of more than 500 percent since 2016." Dr. Al Jasser said: “Our member countries, in particular, are bearing the brunt of the crisis as they are most vulnerable to the shocks.”

Welcoming the Arab Coordination Group’s  communique on an initial US$10 billion envelop for ensuring food security, the IsDB Group Chairman said: “ I am very encouraged by this decision which I see as a minimum target given the magnitude of the problem.”

The IsDB President also highlighted that in the face of the recurrent problem of food insecurity, the IsDB Group has developed an extensive agriculture and food security portfolio including a US$8.23 billion portfolio in 2021. He noted that the IsDB Group has so far invested more than US$20 billion in agriculture and food security and is also devising an ambitious response package in the face of the aggravated food crisis.

The initial amount of minimum of US$10 billion represents the total of the ACG Members’ commitments to cover the import costs of basic commodities such as seeds, grains, and fertilizers while supporting medium and long-term security of food supply in partner countries.

During the meeting in Vienna, the ACG members also addressed the global climate crisis and agreed to provide financing to mitigate the impact of climate change and strengthen climate resilience. A detailed action plan by the ACG is expected to be launched during  the next UN Climate Conference COP27 in November in the Arab Republic of Egypt.