Three projects worth a total of US$403 million that support socio-economic development and promote sustainability have been approved by the board of executive directors for the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), it has been announced.

During the 350th meeting of the board on April 1, 2023, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, the board, chaired by Dr Muhammed Al Jasser, IsDB president and group chairman, approved the projects, which are located in Egypt, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan.

In a statement, the board added that the projects are in key sectors such as energy, education, and transport.

Emphasising the significance of the projects, Dr. Al Jasser stated: “The transformative projects approved in this board meeting will have a significant impact on improving transportation, education, and energy, as well as promoting regional economic integration and addressing emergency situations.

“The IsDB Group remains committed to supporting its member countries in their pursuit of prosperity and resilience, particularly during these challenging times.”

Sustainability projects benefit Egypt, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan

Leading the approvals is IsDB’s $344.5 million financing of Phase I of the Electric Express Train Project in the Arab Republic of Egypt. The objective of the project is to provide access to a safe, affordable, accessible, and sustainable transport system via the development of a 660-kilometre sustainable, green, and climate-resilient electric express railway system.

The project is expected to benefit 25 million people annually and decrease Green House Gas (GHG) emissions by approximately 250,000 tons of CO2 annually.

The Board also approved an additional financing of $13 million for the Central Asia South Asia Electricity Transmission and Trade Project (CASA-1000) in the Republic of Kyrgyzstan. The Bank had originally approved $50 million towards this project.

The project aims to meet the electricity demand in Afghanistan and Pakistan through the establishment of cross-border energy exchange among four IsDB member countries as part of the Bank’s regional economic integration strategy.

Once operational, the project will utilise efficient and environmentally friendly indigenous hydropower resources of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, creating conditions for sustainable electricity trade between Central and South Asia.

The third approved project is the IsDB/ISFD/GPE/OFID Project for Support to Implementation of the National Education Development Strategy of Tajikistan (Phase II), with IsDB’s financing contribution of $35 million and ISFD’s contribution of $10 million.

The project aims to improve the learning environment and facilitate system strengthening for the country’s sustainable implementation of an inclusive, competency-based education system.

The project is a partnership between IsDB, Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development (ISFD), Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID).

Continuing to support sustainability-linked developed goals

Additionally, the Board members deliberated on an emergency grant funding from the IsDB to provide support to Turkiye, and Syria in the aftermath of devastating earthquakes that struck both countries.

Furthermore, the IsDB Board reviewed the progress report of the IsDB Group Food Security Response Program (FSRP), which is aimed at supporting member countries in better averting the ongoing food crisis and further strengthening their resilience to future food security shocks.

The statement added that IsDB Board of Executive Directors would continue to support member countries in achieving their sustainable development goals and strengthening their resilience to future development challenges.

Source: Gavin Davids, Construction Week