The Cooperation with Arab Donors in MENA (CAD) programme (Open Regional Fund) collaborates with the following organizations:
Arab Gulf Programme for Development (AGFUND)
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
The Arab Gulf Programme for Development (AGFUND) is a regional organisation based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. AGFUND was established in 1980 upon the initiative of His Royal Highness, Prince Talal Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud with the support of leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries: the United Arab Emirates, the Kingdom of Bahrain, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the State of Qatar, the Sultanate of Oman and the State of Kuwait. AGFUND’s key objective, without discrimination of sex, creed or political affiliation, is to support human development efforts such as combating poverty, the advancement of education, the improvement of health standards, early childhood education, the empowerment of women, institutional development, and the implementation of projects that target disadvantaged groups in developing countries, particularly women and children.
AGFUND works in partnership with the United Nations, regional and national development organisations, public institutions, the private sector and civil society organisations. AGFUND has supported and financed around 1,467 projects in 133 developing countries and has established several microcredit banks, universities and regional NGOs with which it closely coordinates project implementation. The most important organisations that were established through AGFUND are the Center for Arab Women Training and Research (CAWTAR), the Arab Network of NGOs (’Shabaka’), the Arab Open University and a number of ‘banks for the poor’.
Silatech is an innovative social enterprise that supports job creation and employability for young people (aged 18-30). Silatech was established in 2008 through a $100 million endowment by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser Al Misned, the wife of the then Emir of Qatar, and mother of the new Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. Silatech promotes large-scale job creation, entrepreneurship and access to capital and markets for young people, starting first in the Arab world, where the highest rate of youth unemployment currently exists.
Silatech’s projects aim to foster close cooperation between governments, the private sector, academia and civil society. Partnerships with the governments of recipient countries are forged to promote policy reforms and sustainable change in vocational education, enterprise development and the engagement of youth in civil society. Silatech works on initiatives that are developing curricula for vocational training in the hospitality and construction sectors in Yemen, Morocco and Tunisia; providing support to youth-inclusive services for microfinance institutions; developing web- and mobile phone-based technology to provide information on available jobs and employability programmes in the region; web-based career guidance and counselling in cooperation with Microsoft Egypt; policy reform recommendations and training for NGOs and social enterprises in M&E. In Qatar, Silatech and the Qatar Development Bank set up and support the Bedaya Centre for youth, which provides career guidance and entrepreneurship education.
Islamic Development Bank (IsDB)
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
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.
The OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID)
As a result of an OPEC conference in Algiers in 1975, the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) was established in 1976. Member countries are all OPEC members except for Ecuador and Angola, i.e. Algeria, Gabon, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Venezuela. Like OPEC itself, OFID is based in Vienna, Austria where it employs approximately 160 people. OFID has no field offices.
OFID’s main objective is South-South development cooperation to provide assistance to the poorest countries in the world, based on ground-level partnerships. The founding agreement excludes members of OFID from receiving OFID aid.
OFID and the OPEC Secretariat are two institutions with different functions. OFID’s main concern is the reinforcement of financial cooperation between its member countries and developing countries, whereas the OPEC Secretariat’s principal aim is to coordinate the petroleum policies of its members. While OFID’s Ministerial Council comprises the ministers of finance of its member countries, OPEC’s supreme authority, the Conference, consists of the ministers of energy.
OFID’s priority areas are energy, agriculture, transportation, finance (trade, capital markets, MSME funding), multi-sectoral community-based development, water, sanitation, health, and education.
As of the end of 2013, approximately 76% of OFID’s cumulative public sector support has gone to finance initiatives to resolve the food-water-energy nexus. OFID channelled about $2 billion of its public sector lending in support of water supply and sanitation, agriculture, and rural development.
In June 2012, the Ministerial Council of OFID announced the ‘Ministerial Declaration on Energy Poverty’, stating that OFID would make $1 billion available to bolster its Energy for the Poor Initiative (EPI). OFID thereby aims to confront energy poverty – which it calls the missing “Ninth MDG” – by helping to meet the global goal of universal energy access by 2030. Within this context, OFID focuses on the delivery of innovative, small-scale energy solutions, primarily to off-grid, rural communities, facilitates access to reliable and environmentally-sound power in the South by establishing new, and improving existing utility companies, and by helping countries to tap into their renewable energy sources. For this purpose, OFID also provides direct support to private sector energy poverty reduction projects under its separate Private Sector Facility. Activities include the construction of new facilities and the rehabilitation and upgrade of older inefficient facilities in Jordan, Kenya, Jamaica, and Pakistan.
At the global level, OFID has a €6.5 million equity participation in the Energy Access Fund. The Fund will invest in small enterprises involved in power generation systems (e.g. solar home systems), micro-generation infrastructure (hydro, solar, wind, biomass), “energy kiosks” (electricity generation point with centralised energy consumption by businesses), fleet of batteries, or any other activity linked to expanding access to electricity for rural and sub-urban populations in Africa and developing countries in Asia.
OFID also provides assistance to the education sector, including funding towards the construction, modernisation and expansion of schools, colleges and universities; the provision of technical and vocational training; and strengthening of national education systems. This support is supplemented through OFID’s grant programmes, which assist small-scale, grassroots schemes and knowledge transfer through the sponsorship of conferences and workshops, among many other activities. OFID also runs a scholarship programme for graduate students from developing countries.
Since inception and until November 2014, OFID committed approximately €14 billion; of which €9.3 billion have been disbursed. 132 countries worldwide have benefited from OFID’s financial assistance.
The majority of OFID’s funds are given in the form of loans, directly demanded by developing countries. Only about 5% (approximately €410 million) of OFID’s budget is given in form of grants. Grants were committed for technical assistance (approximately €130 million), a special grant account for Palestine (approximately €90 million), a special programme on HIV/AIDS (approximately €69 million), humanitarian aid, and support for research. Given that OFID has no field staff, it often disburses aid through international and local organisations which are capable of timely and effective implementation on the ground.
Grants amount to roughly €20 to €25 million per year. Per organisation and project, grants vary between €80,000 and €1.6 million. OFID prefers not to fund personnel, but claims to be flexible regarding the calculation of positions to limit overhead costs.