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Islamic Development Bank highlights focus on women, youth, refugee employment

By JT - May 10,2023 - Last updated at May 10,2023

AMMAN — The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) on Wednesday stressed its commitment to continue boosting Jordan's capacity to face economic challenges and achieve the sustainable development goals outlined in the "Jordan: Growth and Opportunity” London Initiative of 2019.

An IsDB official told the Jordan News Agency, Petra, that the bank will focus on projects that enhance the private sector’s role in economic development. The official added that the bank will also focus on providing support to small- and medium-sized enterprises and enterprises that create jobs for youth, women and refugees.

The IsDB will also support projects that enhance Jordan's resilience, and help the Kingdom overcome challenges arising from the Syrian refugee crisis. Such projects are centred in the education, transport and water and sanitation sectors, in addition to public-private partnership projects, particularly with regards to renewable energy.

The IsDB Group in Jordan’s total contributions amounted to some $2.96 billion as of the end of the first quarter of 2023, $1.13 billion of which was used for IsDB-financed projects. $59.8 million of the figure represents total private sector financing operations and $874.5 million is that of other funds, the official revealed.

Trade finance operations totalled about $896.5 million, while investment insurance and export credit operations by the Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit (ICIEC) totalled $2.5 billion, the source added.

Excluding loans, project financing represents 35 per cent, or $1.038 billion, of the IsDB Group's total funding, while trade financing represents 60.1 per cent, or some $1.78 billion. Concessional financing totals 4.9 per cent, or $144.8 million, according to the bank.

As for the sectorial distribution of IsDB Group operations in Jordan, the energy sector accounted for the largest share at 55.1 per cent or $1.63 billion, followed by the industry and mining sector with 17.3 per cent, or $512.2 million, and agriculture with 8 per cent or $238.5 million. The remaining 19.6 per cent is spread across a number of other sectors.

One of the most prominent projects in Jordan funded by the group over the past three years is the $200-million Emergency Food Security Project, approved in 2022, which aims to enhance food security and mitigate the impact of the global rise in grain prices on the most vulnerable families, including Syrian refugees.


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