Top officials during the Islamic Development Bank’s Board meeting.
The Islamic Development Bank’s (IsDB) Board of Executive Directors, approved a total of $1.12 billion for development projects financing in various sectors in 9 member countries as well as $1.79 million grant for a number of other projects including market access readiness in the Republic of Yemen and special assistance grants to Muslim communities in 3 non-member countries, during its 347th session held, today, at the Bank’s Headquarters in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
During the session chaired by Dr Muhammad Al Jasser, President of the IsDB and Chairman of IsDB Group, the Honorable members of the Board of Executive Directors considered and approved projects in the key sectors such as food security, health, transport, energy, urban development, education, water and sanitation.
They also deliberated on the existing financing gaps in key energy infrastructure needs in some of the member countries and accordingly approved two projects under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) modality for the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Republic of Uganda. The governments in these countries are using PPP financing as a mechanism to attract private sector investment and expertise to deliver improved public services and accelerate economic growth.
The EUR100 million Surkhandarya Combined Cycle Power Plant Project for the Republic of Uzbekistan is expected to meet the growing demand for the country’s energy consumption and substitute the aging and inefficient fleet of gas-fired thermal power plants. In the Republic of Uganda, the financing of $100 million, part of the Islamic tranche, will enable the country to untap its oil reserves and export oil to international markets through a 1443 km cross-border buried-heated crude oil pipeline.
Cognizant of the importance of sustainable and efficient transport systems in enhancing socio-economic development, the Bank approved a total of $601.7 million, as sovereign financing, in transport projects in Guyana ($200 million), Uzbekistan ($106.7 million), and Uganda ($295 million). These projects are expected to enhance access to state-of-the-art infrastructure, facilitate access to markets for farmers and traders, and reinforce regional integration and tourism for the member countries.
In the Health sector, sovereign financing of EUR 205 million was approved for the Strengthening of the National Referral Hospital on Oncology centre for the Republic of Indonesia. By modernizing six national referral hospitals in the country, the project aims to improve the availability, accessibility, quality, and delivery of oncology services for children and adults.
Furthermore, the Board approved other key proposals, namely the debt restructuring of Queen Alia International Airport (QAIA) in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, as well as the modification of the mode financing of the approved installment sale financing to Commodity Murabaha for the 300-bed hospital project in Kaduna State, Nigeria.
For providing market access readiness in key economic trade sectors in the Republic of Yemen, the Board approved $1 million in grants. This programme will improve market access by tackling existing gaps in the selected trade sectors namely Onion, Honey, and Coffee.
To support educational infrastructural needs of Muslim communities in some non-member countries, a grant package of $785,000 was approved for projects in Zambia, India, and Bosnia. These funds are primarily earmarked for the expansion of school facilities, in response to the high demand from students. The funds will also be used to enhance the provision of quality education, as well as to enhance the skills of the youth of Muslim communities through technical training aimed at improving their economic and social inclusion.
Seprately, Gulf International Bank – Saudi Arabia(GIB) announced that it will continue its partnership with Beehive, a regional fintech pioneer, to provide financing capabilities targeted at supporting micro and small-to-medium enterprises (MSMEs) across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The strategic partnership, which initially began in 2020, created and brought to market a new digital GIB financing platform to ensure swift and efficient access to finance for this important and fast-growing business segment using Beehive.
The platform is fully digital and includes a sophisticated online decision making and lending process to provide faster and more accessible financing. The platform provides Working Capital Finance, a flexible short-term solution to quickly improve cashflow for up to four months, or Term Finance for creditworthy MSMEs that wish to expand for a financing period of up to 36 months. Financing starts from SAR100,000 up to SAR3 million, with the platform having facilitated MSMEs in the Kingdom since launch.