GLOBAL – The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) is providing US$850 million in financial assistance to member countries of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to help them cope with the coronavirus pandemic.
The Jeddah-based financial institution, which is part of the Islamic Development Bank, made US$300m available to OIC member countries immediately as part of a ‘Rapid Response Initiative’.
It also earmarked another US$550m, which will be deployed over the next two years as part of Recovery Response Programme, to address socio-economic damage from the coronavirus.
“The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation is moving quickly to consolidate efforts to mitigate the socio-economic risks that the virus poses to all our stakeholders in member countries,” it said in a statement.
“ITFC is engaging closely with government stakeholders, partners, businesses and the financial institutions we work with,” it said. “That dialogue enables us to respond in a coordinated manner to soften the economic fallout.”
ITFC is also responding to the different requests made by member countries to provide immediate crisis-related technical assistance programmes, including capacity building for medical personnel and capacity enhancement of laboratories. It is also assisting in sourcing medical equipment and medicines from its network.
“These funds are being directly funnelled towards eligible OIC member countries in most need of support – for critical supplies of energy, healthcare, food security and other life support requirements,” the organisation said.
Set up in 2008 with the primary objective of advancing trade among OIC member countries, the ITFC has provided more than US$51 billion in funding to boost trade and development in different countries of the group.
ITFC is also actively engaged with international, regional and local partners to scale up interim financing measures to contribute to the critical needs of the member countries.
Societies and economies are being affected by the unprecedented and unpredictable nature of the COVID-19 pandemic. These include a major shift in global trade routes, changes in consumption and extraordinary levels of monetary easing and stimulus packages at a scale never experienced before.
The financier said that it is moving quickly to consolidate efforts to mitigate the socio-economic risks that the virus poses to all our stakeholders in member countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).