- 2nd meeting of the LLF Impact Committee in Riyadh approves major pipeline of $242.6 million in development projects for 2017
- Representatives from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development, and the Islamic Development Bank agree on project pipeline to lift poorest OIC countries out of poverty
- Projects approved in Tajikistan, Sudan, Djibouti, Niger, Mauritania, Cameroon, Uganda, and Guinea
- LLF is the largest multilateral development initiative in the Middle East and North Africa – releasing $2.5 billion in finance over five years
Riyadh, 02 April 2017: Representatives from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the State of Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development, and the Islamic Development Bank approved several development projects for 2017 under the $2.5 billion Lives and Livelihoods Fund (LLF). The fund is the largest multilateral development initiative in the Middle East and North Africa for poverty alleviation in member countries of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
This second meeting of the Impact Committee of the LLF, which took place on Thursday 30 March, was inaugurated by His Excellency Dr Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Rabiah, Advisor at the Saudi Royal Court and General Supervisor of King Salman Relief and Humanitarian Aid Center. In attendance were representatives of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and the major donors to the LLF: the King Salman Relief and Humanitarian Aid Center (KS Relief), the Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD), Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development (ISFD). Representatives of the Turkish Red Crescent also attended the meeting as observers on behalf of the Republic of Turkey.
During the meeting, the Impact Committee approved $242.6 million in financing for health, agriculture, and rural infrastructure development projects in eight member countries of the IsDB. The projects are scheduled to be implemented in Tajikistan, Sudan, Djibouti, Niger, Mauritania, Cameroon, Uganda, and Guinea.
Maher Al Hadhrawi, Assistant Supervisor General for Operations and Programs at KS Relief, and Chair of the LLF for its first year of operations, commented:
“The second meeting of the Lives and Livelihoods Fund Impact Committee marks an important milestone in the Fund’s progress. We successfully launched the first project - a malaria prevention and control project in partnership with the Government of Senegal in March. We are here today to prioritize more projects that will have the biggest impact across the Muslim world and lift the poorest people out of poverty.”
He added: “Over the next five years, the Lives and Livelihoods Fund will make $2.5 billion available for anti-poverty projects in health, agriculture and rural infrastructure in Islamic Development Bank member countries. $363 million has been approved for the Fund’s first operational year, and all the donors are working closely together to ensure that it is allocated most effectively.”
Khalifa bin Jassim Al-Kuwari, Director General of QFFD, commented: “The Lives and Livelihoods Fund is the first multilateral partnership of its kind in this region, and demonstrates the benefit of partnering with other donor organizations and regional governments. By pooling our resources together, and combining grants with finance from the Islamic Development Bank, we are able to increase our impact and ultimately save more lives. At Qatar Fund for Development, we are proud to contribute to an initiative that is going to have such a massive impact on the lives of millions of people across the Islamic world.”
His Excellency Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of ADFD, said: “Today’s meeting demonstrates that the Lives and Livelihoods Fund is making steady progress in improving people’s live across the developing world. Our contribution to the Fund articulates the development agenda pursued by the UAE Government that aims to promote inclusive social and economic development through working with our partners from other development agencies to ensure the effectiveness of our aid programs. We are proud to be a founding member of the largest multilateral development initiative in the Middle East and look forward to devoting all our resources and expertise to ensuring improved livelihoods for the people of developing countries. This approach aligns well with Abu Dhabi Fund for Development’s aim to use innovative finance to support developing countries achieve their own development goals.”
Dr Waleed Alwohaib, Director General, ISFD, commented: “I would like to thank KS Relief for hosting the second meeting of the LLF’s Impact Committee, and we are also grateful to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for being the largest contributor to the ISFD, the poverty reduction fund of the Islamic world. Through the grant contributions of the LLF, our aim is to protect communities from the risk of preventable diseases, improving reproductive, maternal and child health, increasing access to sanitation and primary healthcare, and supporting rural development, we are empowering some of the poorest people in the world, and giving them the chance to live healthy and productive lives.”
His Excellency Dr. Bandar Hajjar, President of the IsDB, commented: “The Lives and Livelihoods Fund is now making progress in its mission to help the poorest people in the Muslim world live healthier, more productive lives through investments in health, agriculture, and rural infrastructure. By innovatively combining grants from donors with loans from the Islamic Development Bank, we are able to leverage more funding than grants can alone to fight disease and poverty across the Muslim world.”
Hassan Al-Damluji, Head of Middle East Relations for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, commented: “Of the more than one billion people in the world facing extreme poverty, 400 million are living in the Islamic Development Bank’s member countries. These countries urgently need access to finance for development projects that eradicate disease, provide basic healthcare, and invest in agriculture and critical infrastructure. The Lives and Livelihoods Fund was only established in late 2016, but already it is filling this gap by supporting projects that will enable people to lift themselves out of poverty.”
In September 2016, the Lives and Livelihoods Fund’s Impact Committee approved projects worth $363m for the first of the five years that the fund will be operational.
The Lives and Livelihoods Fund will make $2.5 billion available over the next five years on projects that help the poorest people in 30 of the poorest Muslim countries lead healthy and productive lives. Administered by the IsDB, the fund combines $2 billion of IsDB financing with $500 million in grants from donors. So far, $400 million in grants have been committed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (20% of the total up to $100m), the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development ($100m), the Qatar Fund for Development ($50m), the King Salman Relief and Humanitarian Aid Center ($100m), and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development ($50m).