IDB, FAO sign $1 billion deal to aid poor nations

November 16, 2009

The Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) announced in Rome on Sunday a $1 billion agreement to fund agricultural development programs in poor countries. “It is hoped that the framework agreement, concluded today in Rome by Dr. Ahmad Mohamed Ali, president of the IDB, and FAO Director General Jacques Diouf, will help leverage additional resources and bring total investment in the IDB-FAO program to $5 billion by 2012,” an official statement said, according to Arab News.

Under the agreement, the IDB will contribute $1 billion over the next three years (2010-2012) within the framework of the Jeddah Declaration approved by the IDB Board of Governors in June 2008 to finance priority projects in 26 least-developed IDB member countries. The FAO will provide the necessary technical support for the formulation and implementation of the projects. “The two institutions share the same vision and strategy and will continue working together in improving rural infrastructure, promoting local economic development and enhancing food security while strengthening and revitalizing their cooperation,” the statement said.

The IDB announced its food initiative during a meeting of its Board of Governors in Jeddah in June 2008. Twenty-six least-developed Muslim countries, including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Palestinian Authority, Senegal, Sudan and Yemen, are to benefit from the program. Under the five-year initiative, the IDB will give soft loans to member countries to increase their agricultural production.