At the 289th meeting of its board of executive directors convened beginning of the week, the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) approved $ 617 million toward funding development projects, which included important projects in the areas of education ($ 174 million for Indonesia), electricity ($ 319.6 million for Iran, Uganda and Bangladesh), agriculture ($ 80 million for Morocco), sanitation ($ 15 million in Maldives) and health ($ 10 million for Mozambique).
The board members concurred to raise IDB's participation in the capital of the Istanbul-based Kuwait Turkish Participation Bank Inc. by nearly $ 18 million to stand at $ 65 million. The approvals also included $ 750,000 as grants under IDB's Waqf Fund for educational projects for four Muslim communities in non-member countries namely in Botswana, Nepal, Thailand and Fiji. The board took note of technical assistance grants of $ 450,000 approved by the president to Afghanistan for the education sector and to ASEAN (which includes three IDB member countries Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia and Malaysia in its membership) for the fishing sector.
Bearing in mind the success of IDB's medium term note program and the rising financing needs in its member countries, the board agreed to raise the size of IDB's sukuk program from $ 6.5 billion to $ 10 billion.
IDB's cumulative sukuk issuance since August 2003 is expected to reach $ 7 billion by the end of November 2013. The meeting also reviewed the ongoing arrangements for the 38th annual meeting of IDB board of governors, at the level of ministers of finance, economy and planning of the 56-member countries, slated for May 21-22 in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.
Reproduced with permission from Arab News