DUBAI, UAE – August 2020
H.E Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair signed the donor contribution agreement with the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and UNICEF as the lead donor for the Global Muslim Philanthropy Fund for Children (GMPFC).
This contribution marks the first significant commitment from a philanthropist to the Fund. The $10million contribution by H.E. Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair will focus on supporting refugee education programs in the Middle East and North Africa region. This contribution represents an important step towards the activation of the Fund.
Over a virtual signing ceremony, H.E. Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair signed the Donor Cooperation Agreement with H.E Dr. Bandar Hajjar President of IsDB as the trustee to the Fund. UNICEF’s Executive Director Henrietta Fore, as the co-founder of the Fund, signed as a witness to the agreement.
The Global Muslim Philanthropy Fund for Children is a unique Shariah-compliant global platform for Muslim philanthropists to collectively help achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for children and young people. The Fund aims to support children in need in IsDB member countries, particularly those facing humanitarian crises, by ensuring that children have access to health, education, safety and opportunity. The Fund is administered by the IsDB, which coordinates with UNICEF and donors the selection of programs and projects, which will reach children most in need and offer most long-term social benefit.
Based on shared values, the Fund brings together like-minded partners ranging from government agencies to philanthropists and foundations to harness the Islamic almsgiving and social finance for humanitarian and development purposes.
This initiative is important because it goes beyond simply pooling resources. It offers a platform to exchange ideas and solutions with a process to promote collaboration for delivering greater positive impact. This effort will result in supporting results-based programs that address the challenges facing children and youth with the goal of achieving the United Nations’ SDGs.
The Fund will address cross sectoral emerging needs in education, health and nutrition, water and sanitation, early childhood development, youth empowerment and more.
The signing of the Donor Cooperation Agreement is timely, given the unprecedented challenges resulting from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic crisis, as the Fund could play an important role in coordinating and channeling Muslim donor support to mitigate the public health and socioeconomic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on these vulnerable populations.
With IsDB’s wealth of experience and expertise in project design and implementation combined with its drive for innovative solutions that can address the multifaceted challenges facing children and youth, and UNICEF’s deep commitment to children across the globe and its strong field presence in all IsDB member countries, this strategic partnership will enhance joint actions through an effective multi-stakeholder approach and results-oriented programming process.
Commenting on this partnership, H.E. Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair said: “We have to have collective action if we are serious about making the positive impact that is urgently needed and I hope that this partnership will encourage other philanthropists to follow suit. It is an opportunity to show how Muslim philanthropy is strategic.”
In the same context H.E Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair also added: “We are looking forward to this important milestone to start the implementation phase which will have direct impact on children and youth in the Muslim world. We see this fruitful partnership with IsDB and UNICEF as an opportunity to showcase a new era of Muslim giving. Having more philanthropists join these efforts will institutionalize Muslim giving in a strategic way and make it easier to develop and support innovative homegrown solutions that will address the emerging challenges across all sectors in a holistic and impactful manner.
Hosting the virtual ceremony, H.E. Dr. Bandar Hajjar stated “IsDB and UNICEF are grateful to H.E. Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair for his generous contribution to the Global Muslim Philanthropy Fund for Children, and for recognizing the added value of our close collaboration. We are truly excited about this strategic partnership”. The IsDB chief went on to underline the forward-looking global prospects of Muslim philanthropy. “It is my firm belief that Muslim philanthropy can play an important role in achieving the SDGs. As we grapple with the deep impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the time is now for Muslim philanthropists to act collectively and strategically to address the impact of the pandemic, and to tackle head-on poverty and disease in our member countries. I call upon Muslim philanthropists seeking to maximise their impact to consider joining this ground-breaking partnership”, he added.
On the same occasion, UNICEF Executive Director, Henrietta Fore said: “ I am delighted to witness the important commitment from His Excellency Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, which is an important step forward in our shared vision of creating a Global Muslim Philanthropy Fund for Children. I am pleased that the contribution will support education in the Middle East and North Africa. COVID-19 has exacerbated the global learning crisis, which means nearly 1 in 3 adolescent girls from the poorest households around the world has never been to school. We hope many other leaders in Muslim philanthropy will join us in this critical initiative.
Witnessing the signing ceremonys, H.E. Dr Abdullah Al Rabeeah, Supervisor General of the King Salman Humanitarian Assistance & Relief Centre, stated “In light of the very difficult humanitarian conditions the world is going through, as a result of the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic that negatively affected women and children, and the necessity of intensifying programs dedicated to supporting these groups, we deeply appreciate the initiative of the Emirati Abdullah Al Ghurair Foundation for Education, to support the work of the Global Muslim Philanthropy Fund for Children’s with an amount of $ 10 million for the education of refugees.”