Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 21 April 2021 – Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) President, Dr. Bandar Hajjar, has addressed the first meeting of the Heads of Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) in the year 2021 and extended congratulations to the President of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) Mr. Jin Liquin, for his chairmanship of the round.
In his address, Dr. Hajjar, who chaired the Heads of MDBs Meetings in 2020, touched upon ‘building a unifying vision on vaccines’.
He, first, urged for building a unifying vision amongst MDBs to help Member countries ‘exit from the current pandemic’ and in the meantime ‘prepare for possible pandemics in the future.’
“Last year, we, showed unity in supporting the poorest countries and, now, if we want to see economies restored and restarted, we need to show eagerness to work together to provide vaccines as a key step to help these countries exit and recover from the pandemic and this is key if we want our Member Countries to have their economies restarted and livelihoods of the people to be restored again,” the IsDB president elaborated.
The second major issue Dr. Hajjar underlined was the discussion on how to be prepared for future possible pandemics. “This, of course, goes beyond vaccine distribution to vaccine manufacturing and even vaccine development”, he asserted, explaining how the IsDB Group has reacted towards responding to the pandemic in cooperation with its Member Countries through its Respond, Restore, and Restart Program in collaboration with other MDBs.
”At IsDB Group, we have launched a US$ 850 million ‘IsDB COVID-19 Vaccine Access Facility (IVAC)’ based on a comprehensive approach inclusive of vaccine development, manufacturing, procuring, and delivery to end beneficiaries. We would be happy to align with MDBs in all aspects including country programming and delivery,” he noted.
“If we could ensure COVID-19 vaccine equitable access to all people through COVAX program, this will support our Member Countries to make real progress as some economies are entering sever recessions,” Dr. Hajjar underlined.