IsDB President Addresses G20 Summit

Bali, Indonesia, 15-16 November 2022– The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) President and Group Chairman, H.E. Dr. Muhammad Al Jasser Says that more than half of the IsDB’s member countries (MCs) are struggling with fragility in one way or another. “As we are recovering from the pandemic, the geopolitical crisis, coupled with climate change catastrophes, continues to pose severe threats to food and energy security, especially in highly indebted countries” he explained.

Dr. Al Jasser, who made his remarks while addressing the G20 Summit in Bali, Indonesia on November 15, congratulated the Indonesian Government for the remarkable success of its G20 Presidency. Extending his thanks to the Indonesia President Joko Widodo for inviting the Islamic Development Bank this year, Dr. Al Jasser said: “As one of our most important member countries, we are proud of your tenacity, wisdom, and active leadership throughout this challenging year”.

Expressing his concerns about the unprecedented challenges hindered, the progress towards achieving the 2030 Agenda and its 17 SDGs, particularly SDG1: to end poverty and SDG2: to end hunger, the IsDB President highlighted the Bank’s response to adapt to the needs of its countries. “We have realigned our strategy to focus on three objectives: 1) boosting recovery, 2) tackling poverty & building resilience, and 3) driving green & sustainable growth” he mentioned.

“Moreover, we have launched a US$ 10.5-billion Food Security Response Program to rebuild food stocks in the short term and support sustainable and resilient food systems in the long run. We have also contributed to the US$ 10-billion Arab Coordination Group's initiative to support food and fertilizers imports” he continued. Last week, at the COP27 in Egypt, the Arab Coordination Group announced a cumulative US$ 24 billion financing by 2030 to address the global climate crisis. Of this amount, the IsDB will contribute a minimum of US$ 13 billion.

Dr. Al Jasser confirms the IsDB’s commitment to spare no effort to unlock the enormous potential of Islamic finance to help scale up global development funding”.  He also reiterates the Bank’s support to the Indonesian Presidency and the diligent implementation of all its outcomes, as stipulated in the Leaders' Declaration. He concluded his statement by saying to the gathered leaders: “The developing countries look up to your esteemed forum, hoping that your resolute intentions and coordinated actions will bring an end to the misery and suffering of hundreds of millions worldwide”

Addressing another session on “Digital Transformation”, The IsDB President considers the rapid global digital transformation as a unique opportunity to leapfrog and support the development of resilient, inclusive, and sustainable economies. “The outbreak of Covid-19 particularly emphasized this potential for developing countries. For instance, UNESCO announced that nearly 1.6 billion students in 194 countries were impacted by school shutdowns in 2020’ he states. “Technology was the key to help students adapt their learning processes in these challenging times, however, unfortunately many students in developing and least developed countries did not have the same advantage because of the lack of sufficient digital infrastructure” Dr. Al Jasser said.

He stressed that “in the post-covid world, digital transformation is no longer a choice; it is mandatory in both developed and developing countries. The ICT sector proved to be an essential tool for the survival of almost all areas of the global economy, from international trade and finance to local health and education.

The IsDB has been committed to supporting digital transformation efforts in its 57 member countries. “Digitalization and bridging the digital divide are key priorities for us. We have developed a range of initiatives and financed digital infrastructure projects; some are showcased in the Indonesian G20 Presidency deliverables” Dr. Al Jasser added.

Working towards achieving the digital inclusion of the developing countries, Dr. Al Josser went on “the IsDB is considerably collaborating with international organizations to deepen our engagement with key stakeholders and to contribute significantly to bridging the Digital Divide”. Once again, the IsDB President reiterates the Bank’s commitment to implementing the G20 presidency outcomes towards promoting digital transformation with the aim of advancing sustainable and inclusive recovery and growth. We applaud the Indonesian Initiative to launch the “G20 Action for Strong and Inclusive Recovery” to which IsDB has contributed with innovative projects”. 

Concluding his statement Dr. Al Jasser said: “we look up for the G20 leaders to endorse this ambitious initiative in their declaration, towards a concrete G20 action that enables the world to Recover Together and Recover Stronger”.