More than 1 billion people live in absolute poverty worldwide and are unable to afford the basics of food, safe drinking water, health, education and housing. Around 400 million of these live in countries that are member nations of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB). That’s at least 400 million people who live on less than US$1.90 a day.
The Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development (ISFD) along with the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief), the Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD), and the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) have collaboratively formed the (up to) US $2.5 Billion Lives and Livelihoods Fund (LLF).
The innovative fund blends donor grants with traditional market-based funding (or lending) supplied by the IsDB to provide sizeable concessional financing resources for socioeconomic projects in the 33 least developed countries in the IsDB’smembership.
The LLF’s Impact Committee (IC) ensures that the fund finances health, agriculture, and basic infrastructure projects helping the poorest to lead healthy and productive lives. The IC reviews all projects according to the LLF selection criteria and ensures they have maximum Relevance, Readiness and are geared for high quality Results. The fund’s Project Preparation Facility (PPF)further supports member countries to shape and design their projects for maximum impact..
So far, US$400 million in grants have been committed by the ADFD (US$50 million, the BMGF(up to US$100 million), the ISFD (US$100 million), the KSrelief (US$100 million), and the QFFD (US$50 million), resulting in up to US$ 1.875 billion (over 5 years) available in concessional financing to eligible countries. The LLF is currently delivering projects in 13 countries (over US$ 600 million in financing) as part of its 2016 and 2017 portfolio, across Sub-Saharan Africa and Central Asia.
Dr. Bandar Hajjar, President of the IsDB, said: “The LLF aims at helping the poorest people in the Muslim world to live healthier, more productive lives through investments in health, agriculture, and rural infrastructure. By innovatively combining grants from donors with loans from the Islamic Development Bank, we are able to leverage more funding to fight disease and poverty across the Muslim world.”
Dr. Waleed Al Wohaib, Director General of ISFD said, “Being the donor of LLF, our aim is to protect communities from the risk of preventable diseases, improving reproductive, maternal and child health, increasing access to sanitation and primary healthcare, and supporting rural development, we are empowering some of the poorest people in the world, and giving them the chance to live healthy and productive lives.”