The Islamic Development Bank is an international financial institution that fosters economic development and social progress of member countries and Muslim communities, individually and jointly, in accordance with the principles of Shari’ah i.e. Islamic Law. The IsDB Group currently has 56 member states from four continents that are also members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and pay contributions to the capital of the Bank. The major shareholders are Saudi Arabia (24%), Libya (9 %), Iran (8%), Nigeria (8%), and Qatar (7%).
Established in 1975, the Bank’s headquarters are located in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, with four regional offices in Rabat, Morocco; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Almaty, Kazakhstan; and Dakar, Senegal. Gateway offices are to be established in Turkey, Egypt, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Nigeria to increase field presence and efficiency.
The Islamic Development Bank Group consists of five entities:
1. The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB)
2. The Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI)
3. The Islamic Corporation for Development of the Private Sector (ICD)
4. The Islamic Corporation for Insurance of Investment and Export (ICIEC)
5. The Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC)
IsDB also runs specialized trust funds and programmes, such as the Waqf Fund and the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development, scholarship programmes and special programmes for humanitarian assistance. The Al Aqsa Fund was launched in 2000 to establish practical mechanisms for supporting the general population.
The IsDB Group has approved more than 7,000 projects, valued at approximately €84 billion, since its inception. Around €45 billion was spent on project financing, and another €381 million on technical assistance grants. With regard to distribution by sector, the energy sector accounts for the largest share with approximately 39%, followed by finance with 18%. Industry and mining accounts for 11.5%; agriculture and food security for 10%; transport for almost 9%; water, sanitation and urban development for 5%; and health and education for 2%.
Through its Technical Cooperation Programme, IsDB supports knowledge exchange amongst IsDB member countries by funding seminars, workshops and short-term exchanges between senior officials of organisations.
The newly established Capacity Development Division seeks to strengthen long-term capacity development measures within the Bank’s operations and manages a grant fund to support NGOs and partners.
In the current challenging global economic environment and the political changes ongoing in Arab countries, along with the urgent need of member countries to create jobs, the IsDB Group has engaged in several employment-focused initiatives:
- The G8 Deauville Partnership with a commitment of €3.5 million to support employment growth in Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan, and Morocco.
- The €200 million Youth Employment Support (YES) Programme to assist governments, social funds, and financial institutions to generate employment through micro-loans in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and Libya.
- The €42 million Vocational Literacy Programme for poverty reduction to create 81,000 jobs.
Implementation partners are multiple UN organisations, the World Bank and regional development banks, FAO, IFAD, WHO, OPEC Fund and Islamic banks, governments of member countries and civil society organisations.