President Al Jasser & UN SG’s Special Advisor Discuss Joint ISF Initiative

Jeddah, KSA, 15 December 2022 – The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) headquarters in Jeddah hosted on Thursday a meeting between IsDB President and Group Chairman, H.E. Dr. Muhammad Al Jasser, and H.E. Ambassador Dr. Ahmed Al Meraikhi who is also Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General.

The meeting focused on the cooperation between IsDB and the UN in their joint initiative on Islamic Social Finance (ISF). The two global institutions aim to leverage ISF to fill the gap in financing Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) while ensuring compliance with the requirements of ISF.  

At the meeting, Dr. Al Jasser confirmed his support for all cooperation with UN agencies that further the Islamic Development Bank Group’s development agenda. “The ISF initiative, in particular, has a great potential to unlock resources to achieve the SDGs and we favor the Global Zakat Fund as referred to in the ISF roadmap,” Dr. Al Jasser stated. 

He then expressed pleasure over two years of successful collaboration with the UN on ISF and highlighted that the next steps are expected to focus on attaining more tangible outcomes which will include the selection of the most appropriate mechanisms for furthering the IsDB-UN Collaboration.

The main IsDB operational unit entrusted with ISF activities, especially those focusing on poverty alleviation, is the Bank’s poverty alleviation arm, the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development (ISFD) led by Dr. Hiba Ahmed, Director General, ISFD.

The meeting took place in anticipation of the upcoming ISF Steering Committee meeting on 23 December 2022.

Dr. Al Meraikhi was appointed Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Public Private Partnerships and Islamic Social Financing on 1 January 2022. His appointment comes in line with the Secretary-General's vision and efforts to prevent crises and conflicts through the advancement of sustainable development, addressing the root causes of conflicts, and improving the quality of the United Nations' response.