UAE announces $50-million pledge to major initiative that can lift millions out of poverty

The Lives and Livelihoods Fund is the largest multilateral fund of its kind in the Middle East


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Mohamed Saif Al Suwaidi, director-general of the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development
Mohamed Saif Al Suwaidi, director-general of the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development

Published: Wed 24 Apr 2024, 8:56 AM

Last updated: Wed 24 Apr 2024, 8:57 AM

The UAE has committed $50 million to a major multi-donor initiative that seeks to lift millions out of poverty.

It will be the second phase of the Lives and Livelihoods Fund 2.0 (LLF 2.0), a development drive for Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) member countries.

LLF 2.0 will deploy the funding to support critical projects in health and infectious diseases, agriculture, and social infrastructure in low- and lower-middle-income IsDB member countries. In addition to targeting root causes of poverty, food insecurity, and poor health outcomes, the investments aim to support 32 member countries in achieving 10 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The financing will be administered by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) and is in addition to the $50 million the UAE has contributed to the LLF since its launch in 2016.

The announcement was made on Tuesday during the AVPN Global Conference 2024 in Abu Dhabi.

The funding emphasised the UAE's commitment to working with partners to uplift countries and communities worldwide, said Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, chairman of the International Humanitarian and Philanthropic Council.

"Under the leadership of President Sheikh Mohamed, we are committed to supporting sustainable development solutions that save and improve lives, drive equitable economic growth, and enable countries to thrive. Through this partnership, the UAE furthers its efforts to alleviate poverty and to support countries in building resilient futures," Sheikh Theyab said.

What is LLF?

Established in 2016, LLF is a joint vision of the Islamic Development Bank, the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development, the King Salman Relief Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre, and the Qatar Fund for Development.

LLF is the largest multilateral fund of its kind in the Middle East, focused on breaking down the barriers that prevent individuals, organisations, and governments in the lowest-income countries from obtaining the resources they need to lift themselves out of poverty.

To achieve this, the fund utilises an innovative financing model that combines the grants of its donors with the lending capital of IsDB to provide concessional finance for much-needed development projects. This contributes to sustainable economic growth within countries, in turn helping to lift the most vulnerable out of poverty.

Mohamed Saif Al Suwaidi, director-general of the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, said: "Through LLF 2.0, we will focus on climate-smart agriculture, primary care, underfunded social services, and infrastructure investment. Our blended finance model increases access to concessional financing to bridge investment gaps in meeting Sustainable Development Goals. LLF 2.0 will also optimise its anti-poverty focus, setting grant portions to enhance stability and transparency."

The fund in its first phase invested more than $1.4 billion across 22 IsDB member countries, enabling over three million smallholder farmers to improve their productivity and livelihoods, providing access to quality healthcare for 12.5 million women and children, and is set to provide over 7.5 million people with better water and sanitation facilities.

LLF 2.0 will emphasise climate adaptation efforts and the empowerment of women and girls, recognising that climate change and gender inequality disproportionately impact the most vulnerable.

Dr. Muhammad Al Jasser, President of IsDB, said, "We are deeply grateful for the UAE's longstanding support. Their initial role in establishing the LLF in 2016, combined with their continued generosity, has been instrumental in fostering human development in our poorest member countries."

LLF 2.0 was launched in May 2023. At the launch, the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development committed $150 million to the Fund, while the Gates Foundation announced its commitment to pledge 20 percent of the total granted by donors to the LLF, up to $100 million.


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