IsDB launches Economic Empowerment Fund for Palestinian People

The President of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group, Chairman of the Shareholders Board for the Economic Empowerment Fund for the Palestinian People, Dr. Bandar Hajjar, inaugurated the constitutive virtual meeting of the Fund.

The event marks the official starting signal for the activities of the Fund, which was established to empower and support the steadfastness of the Palestinian people on their land.

Hajjar reaffirmed IsDB’s commitment as founder and manager of the Fund to working jointly and earnestly with all partners to ensure a successful start for the Fund towards achieving its goals in accordance with the highest professional standards and the best practices of good governance.

The IsDB chief, who is the originator of the international initiative to develop, disseminate and streamline the economic empowerment model among the member states, emphasized that the Economic Empowerment Fund for the Palestinian People was the first true building block towards achieving socio-economic development through economic empowerment.

He stated that the Jeddah-based IsDB decided to contribute $100 million to the Fund’s capital, while the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development (ISFD) contributed $52 million, and the Al-Aqsa Fund followed suit with a contribution of $13 million. Subsequently, the IsDB approached other shareholders from the Palestinian public and private sectors, with a number of prestigious institutions being invited to join this blessed endeavor. Hence, the Palestinian Investment Fund contributed $25 million and the Palestine Prosperity Fund $30 million.

In addition, the IsDB is working hard on an ambitious plan to mobilize additional resources and attract other shareholders with a view to mobilizing the declared Fund capital of $500 million.

The Economic Empowerment Fund for the Palestinian People aims to empower economically over 300,000 Palestinian families, or 1.5 million Palestinians, over the next decade, to reach a target contribution equivalent to 5 to 10 percent of GDP, through supporting local production sectors to reduce imports from the occupying power.

As for the next step to strengthen the Fund, Hajjar stated that it would be capacity-building for the Fund through developing its investment policy, operations and procedures manuals, organizational structure, as well as governance mechanisms. This is in addition to initiating the work to finalize an investment map based on comparative advantages of the Palestinian economy, to guide the Fund in the selection of high value-added and labor-intensive strategic sectors.

The IsDB chief said that the presence of experienced partners in the Palestinian market, such as the Investment Fund and the Prosperity Fund, would no doubt be of great help to the Fund during the upcoming capacity-building phase and would facilitate the work of the advisory team that would be set up for this purpose. He further stressed that attention would be given to the human capital as the Fund works to attract the best talents according to the recruitment plan to be adopted later.

Hajjar stressed the importance of good governance and the need for the Fund to adhere to the best standards and practices of governance followed globally by similar development funds to ensure the Fund’s transparency, integrity and independence, which are important keys to encourage and mobilize partnerships and other resources to further strengthen the Fund and help it achieve its goals in the specified timeframe set for it. Secretary-General of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Saeb Erekat said on Sunday that an annexation of even “one inch” of the occupied Palestinian territory by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu means an extermination of any chance of peace in the region.

Speaking during a virtual meeting of foreign, including Israeli, journalists, Erekat said, “If Netanyahu goes ahead with the annexation and apartheid, then he must ally with the American racist extremist organization, Klu Klux Klan, and must be ready to assume all his responsibilities as an occupying power.”

“An annexation means the destruction of the Palestinian Authority, and this will be the end of a solution through negotiations,” the PLO chief continued.

“The Israelis do not like the facts, and believe that denying the facts denies their existence. They [the Israelis] must realize that annexation means apartheid and racism,” he added.

2020-06-15 | News | English |