HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) — a bank set up by 56 Islamic nations — has approved financial assistance worth $617 million (approximately Rs 54.16 billion) for development projects in different countries including Nepal.
The board meeting of the bank has decided to support education projects in Nepal, Botswana, Thailand and Fiji — non-member countries. The non-member grant has provided $750,000 (approximately Rs 65.84 million) from the Waqf Fund for various projects, it said.
However, the bank has not given details of the projects.
According to the bank, the amount will be disbursed in areas of education ($174 million for Indonesia), electricity ($319.6 million for Iran, Uganda and Bangladesh), agriculture ($80 million for Morocco), sanitation ($15 million for 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 $65 million. 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 Islamic Development Bank member countries — Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia and Malaysia — for the fishing sector.
Bearing in mind the success of Islamic Development Bank’s medium-term note programme and the rising financing needs in its member countries, the board agreed to raise the size of Islamic Development Bank’s Sukuk programme from $6.5 billion to $10 billion.
It is worth mentioning that Islamic Development Bank’s cumulative Sukuk issuance since August 2003 is expected to reach $7 billion by the end of November 2013.
IDB is a multilateral development financing institution located in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. It was founded in 1973 by Finance Ministers at the first Organisation of the Islamic Conference.