Dubai, UAE, 1 December 2023 – The first board meeting of the founders of the Global Islamic Fund for Refugees (GIFR) has convened on the sidelines of the ongoing COP28 events in Dubai, UAE.
The board meeting was co-chaired by IsDB President, H.E. Dr. Muhammad Al Jasser, and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, on 1 December 2023 at Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) pavilion at the COP28 venue.
GIFR was launched in September 2022 as a collaboration between UNHCR and IsDB through its poverty alleviation arm, the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development (ISFD), on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York. It aims to address the plight of refugees and facilitate their access to education, water and sanitation, and shelter.
In his remarks at the board meeting, Dr. Al Jasser underlined i) immediate and continuous mobilization of required resources to reach the target of US$ 500 million, ii) commencing the implementation of GIFR projects at the earliest for the benefit of refugee communities in member countries.
Nearly half of the world’s refugees and internally displaced people come from member countries of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC). “A challenge of this magnitude underlines the vital need for innovative and sustainable financing tools such as the GIFR to provide funds and support to the communities and people in need,” Dr. Al Jasser reiterated.
He added that resource mobilization will ensure a positive stream of funding that would be directed to the programs and interventions aimed at impacting the lives of forcibly displaced persons.
Other keynote speakers at the meeting were the Co-Chair of the meeting, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Mr. Filippo Grandi, as well as ISFD director General Dr. Hiba Ahmed who commented on the significance of the tasks on GIFR’s agenda and also the Fund’s activities and progress since it was launched in 2022.
The GIFR Board then discussed all the topics related to documents for the operationalization of the GIFR.
GIFR, is based on an innovative Islamic financing modality utilizing the concept of Waqf (endowment) to sustainably generate funds and is getting more and more attention and recognition as a globally innovative approach that facilitates solutions to challenges that refugees face.