ITFC and ISFD ink $150 million partnership to support least developed member countries
18-01-2023 07:59:37 | by: Bob Koigi | hits: 3542 | Tags:

The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) and the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development (ISFD), both members of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group, have announced the signing of the Trade Finance Support Program for the least developed member countries (LDMCs) affected by the COVID-19 and the food security crises.   

The programme provides $150 million to meet the needs of LDMCs in the wake of the pandemic and the rising food security challenges to help strengthen their resilience.   

Witnessed by IsDB President and Group Chairman, H.E. Dr. Muhammad Al Jasser, the US$150 million Mudaraba Agreement was signed between ITFC CEO, Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, and Director-General of ISFD, Dr. Hiba Ahmed.

In his remarks at the signing ceremony, President Al Jasser called the agreement “the fruit of a collaborative effort within the One-Group principle to meet IsDB Group member countries’ needs, especially in times of difficulties.”

“The signing of this Mudaraba agreement comes at a perfect time to provide our least-developed member countries with the support they need to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 and the food security crises,” Dr. Al Jasser added. 

The program is in line with IsDB's comprehensive Strategic Preparedness and Response Program (SPRP) and IsDB Group Food Security Response Program (FSRP) to meet the LDMCs' needs for medical and food supplies through sovereign trade finance.  

The collaboration also aims to provide financial support to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which form the backbone of many economies of IsDB member states especially those severely impacted by the global crises.

The initial beneficiaries of this program are Benin, Burkina Faso, The Gambia, Mali, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo, Chad, Comoros, Djibouti, Mauritania, and Uganda.     

Speaking during the signing ceremony, ITFC CEO, Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol said: "This Mudaraba agreement is a great milestone of an innovative collaboration between our two entities and represents the successful synergy within IsDB Group to join hands to meet the urgent needs of our Member Countries. With this agreement, ISFD and ITFC plan to support IsDB Group’s Least Developed Member Countries in their efforts to reduce the effects of recent and prevailing crises such as Food Security and COVID-19 pandemic, under the One Group One Goal vision."    

For her part, ISFD DG, Dr. Hiba Ahmed, stated: "This program presents an innovative approach in addressing one important dimension of the multidimensional aspects of poverty which is the requirement to strengthen the economic resilience of our member countries through the empowerment of youth, women, and MSMEs."