The Saudi Arabia-based Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and its development partners, the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development (ISFD), have launched the second phase of the Lives and Livelihoods Fund (LLF 2.0) on the sidelines of the IsDB Annual Meetings 2023.
The launch event was attended by the principals of the Fund’s founding partners, including Mr. Mohamed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), Dr. Chris Elias, President of Global Development, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and Dr. Hiba Ahmed, Director General, Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development (ISFD).
The next phase of the Fund mobilizes resources from the IsDB and donors such as the BMGF and the ISFD for the next five years. The committed resources are aimed at supporting 32 member countries of the Bank to achieve 10 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
ISFD committed $150 million – $50 million as highly concessional loans and $100 million as temporary cash waqf, whereby, the investment returns are earmarked to LLF 2.0. Similarly, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced its commitment to pledge 20 percent of the total granted by donors to the LLF, up to $100 million.
“We all know that long-term food security is not benchmarked by crop yields and strong markets alone. It is also gauged by the survival of a child, the health of a mother, and the resilience of a community. Your continued support and commitment will make it possible for millions of people to pave their way out of poverty. The establishment of enhanced operational and monitoring systems under LLF 2.0 to drive more investments in ending the devastating consequences of hunger, poverty, and disease.”
“It’s great to see founding partners to the Lives and Livelihoods Fund committed to ensure that together we help drive economic growth across 32 IsDB member countries. ISFD’s new contributions to the fund show their engagement in sustainable development across the world and kickstart the LLF’s new round of funding. I hope their commitment will encourage our other partners to further support the LLF’s critical efforts,” said Dr. Elias.
LLF 2.0 is a flexible and efficient way to finance government social development projects to deliver on Sustainable Development Goals. The second phase of LLF will continue to promote the equitable expansion of the fund investments and assist lower-income and lower-middle-income countries to optimize their existing financial, human, and other resources for high-impact sectors. This is expected to mobilize additional in-country resources along the way and attract more co-financing. The LLF recognizes that grant funding alone isn’t sufficient to meet the $2.4 trillion SDG financing gap. Hence, the blended finance approach multiplies available concessional financing.
Dr. Hiba Ahmed, stated that “The objective of scaling up the availability of concessional resources for poverty-focused projects in member countries, especially LDMCs, has been met through the provision of a total financing of $1,433 million under LLF 1.0, almost doubling the concessional resources for the LDMCs from IsDB Group.”