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IDB Group's total finances till January amount to $46 billion

Habib Shaikh
Filed on June 24, 2007

JEDDAH Total finances extended by the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group till January this year amounted to $46 billion, according to official figures released by the bank on the occasion of the 32nd annual conference of IDB board of governors, which was held in Dakar, Senegal.

The IDB said in a statement made available to Khaleej Times here that Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade inaugurated the conference in the presence of IDB President Dr Ahmed Mohammed Ali and finance and economy ministers of 56 member countries.

The conference witnessed the launch of a $10 billion Islamic Solidarity Fund (ISF), which aims at combating poverty in the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) countries. Saudi Arabia has given $1 billion while Kuwait $300 million to the Fund, which was established on the recommendations of the extraordinary OIC summit that was held in the Holy City of Makkah in December 2005.

"The IDB in its capacity as an international Islamic financial institution is committed to exerting every conceivable effort and mustering all its energies and capacities to combat poverty," said Ali. "The bank will allocate $350 million annually for poverty reduction projects," he said. The Poverty Alleviation Fund (PAF) has so far received $1.35 billion from 21 member countries.

According to the IDB statement, the bank has given 38.9 per cent of its total finances worth $46 billion to finance development projects and as technical assistance in member countries, 59.7 per cent to finance trade and 1.4 per cent as aid and grants to Muslim communities in non-member countries.

Last year alone, the IDB group gave $5.2 billion in loans to finance 361 operations. Of that amount $2.17 billion were given to finance development projects and $2.95 billion to finance trade. The bank has so far financed 746 educational and health projects of 67 Muslim communities. The bank's executive directors met in Senegal and approved new finances worth $763.2 million.

About 600 people representing international and regional finance organisations, in addition to representatives of Islamic banks, National Development Finance Institutions (NDFIs) in member countries, the Association of Contractors and Consultants in the OIC member countries, participated in the annual meeting.

The 14th meeting of the board of governors of the Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit (ICIEC), the 7th meeting of the General Assembly of the Islamic Corporation for Development of the Private Sector (ICD), and the second meeting of the General Assembly of the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) also took place on the sidelines of the IDB board meeting.

A seminar on 'Capacity Building for Promotion of Trade and Investment in Africa' was also held in Senegal with the participation of well-known economists. It explored the best ways and means of promoting the capacities of member countries in the African continent to develop trade and investments to boost economic cooperation and push forward the countries of the continent towards development.

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