IsDB Launches Paris Alignment Action Plan to support Climate Action in Member Countries

Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, 2 June 2022 – Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) President and Group Chairman, H.E. Dr. Muhammad Al Jasser, while addressing the official opening ceremony of the Group’s 2022 Annual Meetings in Egypt, announced the Bank’s target of fully aligning its activities with he objectives of the Paris Agreement by end of 2023.

The IsDB Group has launched its Action Plan for Operationalization of the Paris Alignment (2022-2023), which aims to support its 57 member countries in mitigating and adapting to climate change as well as harnessing the opportunities it offers. The Action Plan builds upon IsDB’s Climate Change Policy (2019), Climate Action Plan (2020-2025), and a climate finance goal of 35 percent of total financial commitments by 2025.

Climate change threatens the health and wellbeing of human and natural systems and undermines future sustainable development prospects, particularly in developing and emerging economies. As the world’s largest south-south development finance institution – touching the lives of one in every five people globally – the IsDB Group has an important role to play in supporting enhanced climate actions.

The Paris Agreement is a legally binding international treaty on climate change, adopted by 196 Parties at the 21st United Nations Climate Conference in Paris, 2015. Its goal is to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels.

To achieve this long-term temperature goal, countries aim to reach global peaking of greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible to achieve a climate-neutral world by mid-century.

Through Paris alignment, IsDB Group’s operations will be consistent with and support the implementation of its member countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions as well as the development and implementation of ambitious long-term climate strategies to help make their economies climate-resilient while moving towards low-carbon development.

To help operationalize the Paris Agreement, multilateral development banks (MDBs), including the IsDB Group, have developed a joint MDB Paris Alignment Approach. The approach comprises six building blocks: (i) alignment with mitigation goals, (ii) adaptation and climate-resilient operations, (iii) accelerated contribution to transition through climate finance, (iv) strategy, enhancement, and policy support, (v) reporting, and (vi) aligning internal activities. IsDB is working collaboratively with other MDBs to develop practical methods and tools to support progress under each of the building blocks. IsDB Group’s Action Plan for Operationalization of Paris Alignment (2022- 2023) aims to internalize the broader MDB Paris Alignment Approach by outlining a clear organizational work plan.

The Paris Alignment Action Plan complements IsDB Group’s realigned organizational strategy, for the period of 2023-2025, which aims to boost recovery, tackle poverty and build resilience, and drive green economic growth. Key strategic pillars include (i) green, resilient and sustainable infrastructure, and (ii) inclusive human capital development, while climate change is a cross-cutting area for all activities.

IsDB Officially Launches Economic Empowerment Portal & Arabic Version of Arabic Version of Its Toolkits for Financial Institutions

Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, 1 June 2022 - President of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and Group Chairman, H.E. Dr. Muhammad Al -Jasser, has officially launched IsDB’s Economic Empowerment Portal and the Arabic Translation of the Three (3) Economic Empowerment Toolkits for Financial Institutions, both developed by the Economic Empowerment Department (EED) under itsSolutions Engineering and Entrepreneurial Design (SEED) Program.

The SEED Program is aimed at developing approaches, tools, manuals, and IT/fintech solutions to enhance the quality and effectiveness of the design and implementation of Economic Empowerment operations in IsDB’s Member Countries.

In his keynote address, the IsDB President stressed “the necessity of building the right ecosystems for an active and efficient contribution by governmental, private and third sector actors in building back better and for the benefit of all”.

Launch of the Economic Empowerment Portal
Dr. Muhammad Al Jasser then officially launched IsDB’s Economic Empowerment Portal, while underlining the fact that this portal “is a means for the Bank to share with the general public the fundamentals of the Bank’s Economic Empowerment Approach, the Initiatives that the Bank has worked or currently working on and most importantly…the fruit of more than 20 years of experience in
dedicated poverty alleviation interventions encapsulated in lectures, conferences, and
detailed step-by-step toolkits and reports”.

Launch of the Arabic Translation of Economic Empowerment Toolkits Dedicated to Financial Institutions
The IsDB President then officially launched the Arabic Translation of the Three (3) Economic Empowerment Toolkits for Financial Institutions.
These toolkits were initially launched in their English version during the 2021 IsDB - Group Annual Meetings in Tashkent (Uzbekistan). They provide are step-by-step guides on Economic Empowerment Design, Islamic Financial Product Implementation, and Monitoring and Evaluation.

In his concluding remarks, the IsDB President invited the development stakeholders to join hands to develop the necessary eco-systems needed to build a better future for the disadvantaged and the destitute. He also stated that IsDB’s Economic Empowerment Approach is one of the pioneering transformations needed to contribute significantly to the global challenges such as employment creation and poverty alleviation.

While announcing that a French Translation of the Economic Empowerment Toolkits should follow very soon, the President expressed hope that “everyone can benefit from the knowledge content that the Bank is sharing with the public, today and that it will serve in setting the best practices for the industry”.

IsDB Group Announces Official Launch of Private Sector Forum (PSF)

•Dr. Muhammad Al Jasser: “During the forum, 50 agreements are to be signed, and 20 events are to be organized." PSF will host 100 speakers, 55 exhibitors, and 1,500 participants".

•Dr. Hala El-Said: “Egypt established the Egypt Sovereign Fund to attract the private sector, and is getting ready to hand over several sectors to the private sector.

Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, 2 June 2022 - The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group has announced the official launch of the Private Sector Forum (PSF) in cooperation with the Egyptian Ministry of Planning and Economic Development, on the sidelines of the Group’s 2022 Annual Meetings hosted by the Arab Republic of Egypt from 1 to 4 June 2022 at the International Convention Center in Sharm El-Sheikh.
The session was commenced by IsDB President and Group Chairman, H.E. Dr. Muhammad Al Jasser, and the Arab Republic of Egypt’s Minister of Planning and Economic Development, H.E. Dr. Hala El-Said.
In his keynote address, Dr. Al Jasser stated that the forum includes 20 events, hosting more than 100 speakers, 55 exhibitors, and 1,500 participants. He added that the event will witness the signing of more than 50 agreements, as well as a work session on the Suez Canal Economic Zone, a giant infrastructure project that has strengthened Egypt's trade position in the world. The IsDB Group Chairman also explained that PSF events also feature a session devoted to presenting partnership projects in Egypt, Jordan,Bangladesh, and Pakistan. Dr. Al Jasser further elaborated that cooperation between the
public and private sectors is an economic pillar in the IsDB member countries and is extremely crucial.
“The IsDB Group pays great attention to supporting joint cooperation between member countries, especially the private sector,” he said while noting that IsDB Group’s private

sector development arm, the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), has financed about 505 projects worth US$7.1 billion in various sectors.Furthermore, Dr. Al Jasser referred to the achievements of IsDB Group’s insurance arm, the Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit (ICIEC) which since its inception in 1994 has provided the required insurance coverage for nearly US$88 billion worth of businesses and investments including exports and imports in 48 member countries. The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), which is IsDB
Group’s international trade arm, has so far provided US$61 billion of financing for energy
imports and US$707 million of funding for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and the
private sector in 2021.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Dr. Al Jasser stressed that the IsDB Group is looking forward to the issuance of recommendations that live up to the expectations of all concerned parties. The group will be keeping an eye on the results of the forum to contribute to every event and implement all the recommendations to enhance trade and exchange investments, with the aim of achieving development and establishing partnerships.among member states.
Her Excellency Dr. Hala El-Said, meanwhile, expressed happiness with Egypt’s hosting the IsDB Group’s Annual Meetings for the first time after 30 years. “The world witnessed the COVID-19 crisis and before a full recovery, it is already dealing with the challenges of the current geopolitical crisis that has affected all countries of the world, including IsDB Group member countries,” the Minister added. She stressed the importance of supporting the private sector as a key partner in development.Minister El-Said further elaborated that the Egyptian government started economic reform measures in 2016 based on three trends namely financial, monetary, and the creation of relevant infrastructure to attract the private sector. She pointed out that infrastructure investments over the past few years aimed to improve the quality of life for Egyptians and attract local and foreign private sector investors noting that the reform process is ongoing and gets constantly developed depending on each stage.
According to Dr. Hala El-Said, Egypt has established the Egypt Sovereign Fund for Investment and Development for the first time which mainly aims to attract more private sector participation and seize the opportunities that attract the private sector investors.

She also stated that a few days ago, the state announced that it will be exiting several sectors and will offer them to the private sector. About the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group Rated AAA by the major rating agencies, the Islamic Development Bank is a multilateral development bank that has been working for over 47 years to improve the lives of the communities it serves by delivering impact at scale. The Bank brings together 57- Member Countries across four continents, touching the lives of 1 in 5 of the world population. Its mission is to equip people to drive their own economic and social progress at scale, putting the infrastructure in place enabling them to fulfill their potential. Headquartered in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, IsDB has regional hubs and centers of excellence in 11 of its Member Countries.  Over the years, the Bank has evolved from a single entity into a group comprising five entities: Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), the Islamic Development Bank Institute (IsDBI) tasked with research and training, the Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment, and Export Credit (ICIEC), the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), and the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC).

Novel Solutions Needed to Tackle Poverty, Foster prosperity – Dr.Al Jasser

Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, 2 June 2022 - The task of fighting poverty and fostering shared prosperity across our communities requires novel approaches, the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and Group Chairman, Dr. Muhammad Al Jasser, say.

Dr. Al Jasser made the statement during the opening of the 16th IsDB Global Forum on Islamic Finance, held on the sidelines of the 2022 IsDB Group Annual Meetings in Sharm El Sheikh, the Arabic Republic of Egypt.

The forum, themed ‘Social Entrepreneurship for Shared Prosperity, was organized by the Islamic Development Bank Institute (IsDBI) and discussed the role of social innovation and entrepreneurship in confronting poverty and fostering shared prosperity.

Dr. Al Jasser observed that the combined health and economic crises caused by COVID- 19 have resulted in rising poverty and widening inequalities around the world, disproportionately affecting vulnerable groups.

In view of this, the IsDB President said, that novel socially responsible solutions are needed to tackle poverty. Such solutions would include social innovations that create value by filling the gaps left in the market often caused by market failures.

“In the broader social innovation ecosystem, social entrepreneurship plays a critical role, as entrepreneurship is essential for innovation, job creation, and economic growth,” Dr. Al Jasser added.

The IsDB Group Chairman said while fighting poverty has always been at the core of IsDB’s partnerships and engagements "the COVID-19 pandemic has further compelled us as a development institution to strengthen our efforts in this endeavour to ensure a more inclusive recovery in our Member Countries.”
He observed that some IsDB Member Countries have made remarkable successes in reducing poverty significantly over the years, and it was therefore worth tracking and highlighting the success stories of those countries to serve as a motivation for policymakers and development institutions in other countries.

Earlier, Dr. Sami Al-Suwailem, Acting Director-General of IsDBI and IsDB Group Chief Economist, delivered the welcome address and pointed out that achieving the mission of Islamic finance requires working along two dimensions: innovation and social solidarity. The forum, therefore, has two sessions: One addressing poverty, the other social entrepreneurship.

Following the opening session, the first panel session highlighted a joint initiative between the IsDB Institute and Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) to apply multi-dimensional measures of poverty in selected Member Countries including Egypt. Speakers in the session were Dr. Ahmed Kamali, Deputy Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Egypt; Dr. Sabina Alkire, Director of OPHI; Dr. Sami Al-Suwailem, Acting Director General of the IsDBI and IsDB Group Chief Economist; and Mr. Mohamed Ashmawy, Vice-Chairman and Managing Director of Nasser Social Bank, Egypt.

The second panel session focused on the role of social innovation and entrepreneurship in addressing socio-economic challenges and poverty trends. The panelists were Mr. Sahba Sobhani, Director of UNDP Istanbul International Center for Private Sector in Development (IICPSD), and Mr. Ayman Sabae, Co-founder and CEO of the Egyptian Social Enterprise ‘Shamseya’ for Innovative Community Healthcare Solutions. In between the two panel sessions, a launching was held for Massive Open Online Course on Islamic Finance for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). IsDBI and IICPSD developed the MOOC through a partnership with Durham University Business School, with the support of the IsDB’s Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Fund. The online course is the first of its kind specifically designed to engage development professionals and Islamic finance stakeholders under the single umbrella of sustainable development and leverage Islamic finance to finance the SDGs. It brings together 27 internationally recognized subject matter experts from 11 countries and 3 continents as course instructors.

16th IsDB Global Forum on Islamic Finance

Theme: Social Entrepreneurship for Shared Prosperity. Panel Session 1: Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI): An Application to the Egyptian Economy.