IsDB: Helping the people of Afghanistan via a humanitarian trust fund
Since December 2021, the Jeddah-based AAA-rated Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), has been proactively supporting international efforts to assist the people of Afghanistan via the Afghanistan Humanitarian Trust Fund (AHTF).
While the AHTF is awaiting member countries and international donors’ contributions, priority programs and projects are being developed in close cooperation with relevant partners working in Afghanistan. These efforts focus on a wide array such as alleviating poverty, improving health, promoting education, livelihood, rural development, agriculture, improving governance and projects facilitating women empowerment/inclusion, female education, and creating employment opportunities for the youth.
The establishment/operationalization of the AHTF was approved by IsDB Board of Executive Directors on 14 February 2022 in the wake of the 17th Extraordinary Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), held on 19 December 2021 in Islamabad, Pakistan, where ministers from 57 countries discussed the situation in Afghanistan, and entrusted IsDB with establishing Operationalization and managing the AHTF in partnership with other international and regional stakeholders.
The Fund is adopting a holistic and sustainable approach to provide humanitarian assistance and basic services and support development and reconstruction activities to facilitate short, medium and long-term stability and self-reliance, support financial sectors, increase agriculture productivity, support healthcare systems, and involve the private sector.
As 76% of Afghanistan’s population lives in rural communities, a key focus will be to save lives by preserving rural livelihoods. Youth Employment as well as facilitating local entrepreneurs and development of the private sector will be a priority, too.
To formulate a viable operations pipeline, IsDB has been extensively consulting with implementation partners as well as other stakeholders. The Bank’s field office has been operational in the capital city of Kabul since January 2022. In May 2022, a delegation from the relevant IsDB Group Regional Hub, traveled to Kabul in coordination with the OIC, to explore initiatives and projects that can be potentially funded under the AHTF, to ensure maximal impact.