Islamic Bank Combats African Poverty

The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) has decided to allocate ten billion dollars to help combat grinding poverty, particularly in the African continent.

Islamic Bank Combats African Poverty

IDB Vice President for Operations Amadou Boubacar Cisse told a UN debate on the Millennium Development Goals Monday, November 27, that the sum will be allotted over 10 years, reported Reuters.

The money will be paid through the Poverty Alleviation Fund, created during the 2005 Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) summit in Makkah and expected to start operations in mid-2007.

Cisse said Saudi Arabia had pledged $1 billion and Kuwait $300 million to launch the fund.

Other pledges have also been received from 17 IDB member countries and more are expected in the coming months.

The aim, the bank official said, is to help meet the Millennium Goals proposed by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and approved by world leaders at the year-2000 Millennium Summit.

The eight goals, ranging from cutting extreme poverty by half to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education, are targeted for the year 2015.

Kemal Dervis, head of the UN Development Program, told the meeting participants that no region was on track to meet the goals by 2015.

Priorities

Cisse said the IDB fund will have special focus on health, agriculture, micro-finance, infrastructure, emergency assistance, recovery and reconstruction.

The Bank has also a strategic objective of primary education, especially for the girls, he added.

Nevertheless, Cisse asserted that the Islamic bank would not impose certain rules for IDB member countries that do not have a majority Muslim population, such as Gabon or Cameroon.

"The girls in the Muslim (areas) are more backward, the ratio is the lowest" for education, he noted.

"But it is for our member countries to decide."

The Jeddah-based bank currently provides financing for projects in Senegal, Niger, Mali and Uganda among others.

The IDB is an international financial institution whose board of governors comprises finance or economy ministers of member states.

It sees to foster the economic development and social progress of its 56 member countries and Muslim communities individually as well as jointly in accordance with the principles of Shari`ah.

The IDB participates in equity capital and grants loans for productive projects and enterprises besides providing financial assistance to member countries in other forms for economic and social development.

Since its inception in 1975, it has approved an amount of 50 billion US dollars towards development needs of its members countries, according to IDB figures.

The bank is also required to establish and operate special funds for specific purposes including a fund for assistance to Muslim communities in non-member countries, in addition to setting up trust funds.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
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