Call to back $10b Islamic solidarity fund
Manama, February 5, 2008
A high-level advisory panel for the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development (ISFD), has called for enhanced efforts to ensure participation by the private sector in the Islamic fund.
The ISFD, a window for the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), during its one-day meeting in Bahrain urged high-net-worth individuals and corporates to support the fund as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts and fecilitate more effective channelling of Zakat and ways to mobilise further government contributions from IsDB member countries.
Iran has taken over the task of providing technical training and education to some 1,000 students from targeted beneficiary countries as part of the program.
The meeting also decided to ready strategies aimed at enhancing ISFD mobilisation for approval at the 10th Islamic Summit in Senegal to be held from March 13 to 14.
Held under the patronage of Shaikh Ahmed bin Mohammed Al- Khalifa, Minister of Finance of the Kingdom of Bahrain and chairman of the Board of Governors of the IsDB, the event drew together more than 20 eminent personalities with significant expertise and long track records in supporting joint action initiatives aimed at achieving development and poverty reduction in the Islamic world.
The list of high-profile participants included Abdulrahman Siwar Adhahab, former president of Sudan, Tun Mahatir Mohammed, former prime minister of Malaysia, Mohammed Azzarooq Rajab, former prime minister of Libya, Mo'een Quraishi, former prime minister of Pakistan, Shaikha Heya bint Rashid Al-Khalifa, and Sheikh Saleh A. Kamel, chairman of Dallah AlBaraka Group.
The meeting focused on further defining and providing support for IsDB’s strategies and efforts to raise a targeted $10 billion for the operationalisation of the Fund from both Islamic member states of the OIC, the private sector in these nations as well as leading NGOs.
The ISFD, whose objectives are linked directly to supporting the achievement of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals, will focus on battling poverty in the poorest OIC member nations, 80 per cent of which are located in sub-Saharan Africa, as well as to combat pockets of poverty in other more developed member states.
Commenting on the gathering, IDB president Dr Ahmad Mohamed Ali, said: “We are deeply honoured by the presence here today of some of the Islamic world’s most influential leaders, who together offer the IsDB an unmatched and truly powerful body of expertise and practical know-how relating to economic and social development and empowerment across the Muslim world.'
Dubbing the Fund as an ambitious and vital undertaking in need of collective action, Ali said 'We have explored and uncovered a number of key strategies to ensure the rapid and successful mobilisation of funds from multiple sources throughout the Islamic world and well beyond.'
Before concluding the event, participants were received by Crown Prince and Deputy Commander of the Bahrain Defence Force Shaikh Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, where he thanked them for their contributions and underscored the Kingdom's commitment to providing its full support to the Fund.
The participants extended their gratitude to the leadership of the Kingdom of Bahrain - represented by His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, the Prime Minister Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al-Khalifa and the Crown Prince and Deputy Commander of the Bahrain Defence Force, Shaikh Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa - for the successful hosting of the event.-TradeArabia News Service