British Secretary of State for International Development and IDB Group President Discuss Coordination Efforts for Flood Relief Assistance to Pakistan
During the meeting which took place at IDB headquarters in Jeddah, the two sides discussed ways and means for coordinating efforts to assist Pakistan with overcoming the aftermath of the recent destructive flooding which engulfed vast areas of land in the country and exchanged views on participating in the upcoming Pakistan Development Forum slated for mid November, 2010, in Islamabad with the British official naming Pakistan the biggest country to country program that his ministry is following up. Dr. Ali and Andrew Mitchell also touched upon coordinating efforts aimed at upgrading development and alleviating poverty in IDB member countries particularly in Palestine and Yemen taking advantage of British expertise specially in the fields of capacity building for member countries of the Bank. The issue of cooperation with the IDB Group in sharing expertise on Islamic banking and finance with senior experts from the British Department for International Development as well as cooperation in different Islamic financial instruments was also raised during the meeting.
The British Secretary of State for International Development, for his part, expressed his appreciation for the important role the IDB Group has played in alleviating poverty and creating new job opportunities as well as the support the Bank has lent to economic development of its member nations.
On his part, the IDB Group President underlined the desire of the Bank to cooperate with the British Ministry of International Development for the materialization of joint objectives in alleviating poverty and promoting public health as well as furthering educational efforts. Dr. Ali then stressed IDB group's desire for increasing Sharia'h-compliant financings to ward off the impacts of the global financial crisis in a number of the IDB Group member countries. The IDB Group President also referred to Grameen Bank in Bangladesh as a typical successful instance of poverty alleviation which could be replicated in other countries.
Meantime, in a presentation session, the British Secretary for International Development and his delegation were also briefed on the activities of the IDB Group and the efforts put into supporting development in IDB member countries and Muslim communities in non-member countries as well as the strides the Bank has so far taken to finance development projects and promote intra trade amongst its member countries.
Earlier in January 2009 in the capital city of Riyadh, the two sides had signed a memorandum of understanding agreeing on a framework for joint efforts in cooperation and coordination in a number of areas of mutual interest including providing support for development and poverty alleviating efforts in accordance with development objectives for the new millennium as stipulated by the United Nations Organization including cooperation for providing basic services giving top priority to education, health, water supply and food security in addition to creating new job opportunities in close cooperation with the private sector as per the Paris Declaration besides assisting developing nations with capacity building.
The Islamic Development Bank Group has so far contributed to 17 educational projects in favor of the Muslim community in the United Kingdom mainly as grants worth 5.6 million US dollars.