IsDB.org / February 2021
- The Islamic Development Bank, UNICEF, The Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair Refugee Education Fund and the King Salman Centre for Humanitarian Aid and Relief (KSRelief), met virtually to formally approve the first batch of projects.
- The Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair Refugee Education Fund was the first donor to launch the Fund from an idea to a reality with US$10 million
- KSRelief was the Fund’s second prominent donor with US$ 9.2 million establishing the trend for collective good.
Jeddah-Riyadh/Dubai/New York – February 2, 2021: The Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair Refugee Education Fund, the Islamic Development Bank, UNICEF, and the King Salman Centre for Humanitarian Aid and Relief (KSRelief), met virtually today to formally approve the first batch of projects funded by the Global Muslim Philanthropy Fund for Children (GMPFC), as part of a donor contribution agreement signed in August 2020.
Launched at the UN General Assembly in September 2019, three projects are set to be implemented in partnership with UNICEF. Targeting refugee children in Jordan, Bangladesh and Pakistan these three projects will address cross sectoral emerging needs in education, health and nutrition, water and sanitation, early childhood development, youth empowerment and more.
Contributing almost US$20 million collectively, The Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair Refugee Education Fund and KSRelief assured that the Fund would launch quickly and effectively to better address the increasing needs of the most vulnerable globally, needs that are increasing due to the multiplier effect of the pandemic.
In Jordan, a nation that hosts more than 650,000 registered Syrian refugees, the approved program funded by The Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair Refugee Education Fund will focus on empowering over 5,000 vulnerable children and youth through access to inclusive education. In addition, special learning support will be provided to these children and youth with access to market-oriented courses that will set them on a path towards elevated livelihoods in the future.
In Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar district, where an estimated 1.2 million Rohingya refugees and members of the host population need humanitarian assistance, KSRelief funds will be invested towards lifesaving healthcare for children and women, along with nutrition support for children under the age of five, and pregnant and nursing mothers.
In Pakistan, KSRelief will support immunization coverage and health services for children under the age of five in select districts, contributing to the reduction of 250,000 deaths each year of children before their first birthday.
H.E. Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, Founder of the Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair Refugee Education Fund added: “Education can only be effective if children and youth are healthy, safe, and have access to water and food. That is why a collaborative approach is needed now more than ever before given the unprecedented challenges resulting from the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. We believe that the programs currently being rolled out in Jordan, Bangladesh and Pakistan will positively impact thousands of vulnerable children and will play an important role in mitigating the public health and socioeconomic impact of the pandemic to help elevate their livelihoods and safeguard their futures. With that, we are very proud to be involved in coordinating and channeling Muslim donor support to help institutionalize giving in a strategic and impactful way, and we look forward to generating sustainable impact off the back of this.”
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.
The Fund’s Governing Council, which is co-chaired by H.E. Dr. Bandar Hajjar, President of Islamic Bank Group, and Henrietta Fore, Executive Director of UNICEF, also approved the Fund’s operating procedures and discussed its future growth strategy.
H.E. Dr Abdullah Al Rabeeah, Supervisor General of the King Salman Centre commented: “I am very pleased to announce KSrelief’s participation in the Global Muslim Philanthropy Fund for Children. Particularly now, when the Covid-19 pandemic is exacerbating an already challenging global humanitarian landscape, it is essential for our collective efforts to be directed towards helping the most vulnerable among us – our children. The Fund will enable Muslim philanthropists to support programmes that provide at-risk children and youth with access to protection, education, health care, proper nutrition and every opportunity to achieve success in the future”.
Hosting the virtual meeting, H.E. Dr. Bandar Hajjar stated, “Today we begin to deliver on our promise to children to bring the Global Muslim Philanthropy Fund for Children to fruition, thanks to the support of our partners”. “We look forward to expanding our partnership with Muslim philanthropists to address the adverse impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on children, and to tackle head-on poverty and disease in our member countries”, he added.
Henrietta Fore, Executive Director of UNICEF, said: “With the challenges the world now faces, particularly as we look to the post-COVID-19 recovery and resilience phase, there is a need for collective and coordinated action. The Global Muslim Philanthropy Fund for Children represents a unique opportunity for leading global Muslim philanthropists to come together and create significant and lasting change for the most vulnerable children and their families.”
The partners confirmed their continued commitment to the Fund as a global strategic platform for Muslim philanthropy in a joint call for action:
“’The GMPFC is a unique vehicle which ensures that Muslim Philanthropy is at the forefront of fighting poverty and disease and achieving the SDG’s. We call on all Muslim Philanthropists around the world to join our growing coalition of global Muslim leaders, so that together we can strategically respond to humanitarian needs and save lives.”