A High-Level Advisory Panel for the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development (ISFD),” a window for the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), concluded a one-day meeting in Bahrain where panel members called for enhanced efforts to ensure participation by the private sector in the Fund, including that by high-net-worth individuals and corporates as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts, the more effective channelling of Zakat and ways to mobilise further government contributions from IsDB member countries.
Participants further highlighted the importance of technical resource assistance with the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran committing itself to providing technical training and education to some 1,000 students from targeted beneficiary countries.
Other recommendations included preparing strategies aimed at enhancing mobilisation for the ISFD along these lines, which can be presented for approval to leaders at the upcoming 10th Islamic Summit in Senegal to be held on the 13 -14 March 2008.
Held under the patronage of His Excellency Shaikh Ahmed bin Mohammed Al- Khalifa, Minister of Finance of the Kingdom of Bahrain and Chairman of the Board of Governors of the IsDB, the event drew together more than 20 eminent personalities with significant expertise and long track records in supporting joint action initiatives aimed at achieving development and poverty reduction in the Islamic world.
In addition to key officials from the IsDB and the Fund, participants included H.E. Abdulrahman Siwar Adhahab, former President of the Sudan, H.E. Tun Mahatir Mohammed, former Prime Minister of Malaysia, H.E. Mohammed Azzarooq Rajab, former Prime Minister of Libya, H.E. Mo'een Quraishi, former Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, H.E. Abdulkareem Al Aryani, H.E. Mohammed Aba Al Kheil, former Minister of Finance and National Economy, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, H.E Shaikha Heya bint Rashid Al-Khalifa, and H.E. Sheikh Saleh A. Kamel, Chairman of Dallah AlBaraka Group, to name a few.
The meeting focused on further defining and providing support for IsDB’s strategies and efforts to raise a targeted US$10 billion for the operationalisation of the Fund from both Islamic member states of the OIC, the private sector in these nations as well as leading NGOs.
The ISFD, whose objectives are linked directly to supporting the achievement of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals, will focus on combating poverty in the poorest OIC member nations, 80 percent of which are located in sub-Saharan Africa, as well as to combat pockets of poverty in other more developed member states.
Commenting on the gathering, President of the Islamic Development Bank, Dr. Ahmad Mohamed Ali, said: “We are deeply honoured by the presence here today of some of the Islamic world’s most influential leaders, who together offer the IsDB an unmatched and truly powerful body of expertise and practical know-how relating to economic and social development and empowerment across the Muslim world. We are grateful for the time and thought they have afforded us and for their support of the principles and objectives underlying the creation of Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development. The Fund is an ambitious – and vital - undertaking requiring collective action and together here today we have explored and uncovered a number of key strategies to ensure the rapid and successful mobilisation of funds from multiple sources throughout the Islamic world and well beyond."
Before concluding the event, participants were received by His Highness the Crown Prince and Deputy Commander of the Bahrain Defence Force Shaikh Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, where His Highness thanked them for their contributions and underscored the Kingdom's commitment to providing its full support to the Fund.
In concluding the meeting, participants extended their gratitude to the leadership of the Kingdom of Bahrain - represented by His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, His Highness the Prime Minister Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al-Khalifa and His Highness the Crown Prince and Deputy Commander of the Bahrain Defence Force, Shaikh Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa - for the successful hosting of the event.
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