The Board of Executive Directors (BED) of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) held a virtual meeting chaired by IsDB President, Dr Bandar Hajjar. During the meeting, new financing operations were approved and reports on the Bank's recent performance were reviewed.
In terms of financing, the BED approved a US $10 million technical assistance grant to the UAE government over five years, at a uniform annual rate of US $2 million. The grant will be used to cover programmes by the International Centre for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA) aimed at conducting studies and research in saline environments worldwide, with the ultimate objective of achieving food security, pursuant to the agreement between IsDB and UAE. ICBA is a not-for-profit institution that undertakes innovative and applied research and supports the improvement of poor farmer welfare.
The financing operations approved by the BED also included a US$60 million supplementary funding to Pakistan as a further contribution to the polio eradication programme. This includes a US$39 million IsDB Murabaha and a US$21 million grant from the IsDB-managed Lives and Livelihoods Fund (LLF). As IsDB had previously contributed US$ 100 million to the same project, this new supplementary funding takes its total contribution up to the US $160 million mark.
The BED also approved an IsDB contribution of US$6 million to the establishment of the "Waqf Capital Company”, an initiative that is to address many of the difficulties faced by actors and operators in the Waqf sector and fulfil a pressing need to close that substantial gap. IsDB's participation in the establishment of the company is attributed to the Bank's distinguished status, which enables it to take the lead by acting as a catalyst for improvements in Waqf asset performance. This will help to unleash the full potential of those assets worldwide and enhance their role in the socio-economic development of Muslim countries and communities around the world. It will also open a new and effective window for IsDB to deliver on its mission.
On the other hand, the BED was presented with a report on the Integrated Work Program (IWP) for the period 2021-2023, and a brief oral report on the agenda of the 45th annual meeting of the Board of Governors (BOG). The BED also reviewed the IT strategy to upgrade IsDB's Information Management and Disruptive Technology (IMDT) Department.
The IsDB President presented a report to the BED on the Strategic Preparedness and Response Programme (SPRP), which is aimed at supporting IsDB member country efforts to control, contain, mitigate, and recover from the "Covid-19" pandemic. The programme has two main components: response to health emergencies, and preservation and stimulus of the economic and social sectors along the three tracks of response.
The President reported that he held a series of virtual high-level meetings with senior officials in 43 member countries to present SPRP and its implementation modalities. The high-level meetings were then followed by technical meetings led by IsDB regional hubs and the HQ departments concerned. Country dialogues and technical meetings culminated in the identification of financing possibilities and plans to support member countries. Each member country was given an opportunity to choose the most appropriate financing method for it to cope with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.