KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 27 – The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) have created a fund to combat cholera and other diarrhoeal diseases in Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) countries.
“The One WASH Fund is modelled on an innovative financing mechanism to attract new philanthropic and private investor capital by combining Islamic social finance contributions with traditional humanitarian donor financing,” said Economic Affairs Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali in a statement on behalf of Malaysia at the High-Level Dialogue on Financing for Development on the sidelines of the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York yesterday.
The fund will increase its structure via the issuance of Islamic bonds, which is expected to allow it to operate on a multi-million-dollar scale.
“Malaysia has partnered closely with IsDB and IFRC the past on a range of socioeconomic development and humanitarian initiatives,” he stated.
“We are proud our partners are now working together to develop an innovative financing model to create sustainable and scalable impact.”
The fund will support the partnership’s One WASH Programme to improve the lives of five million people in 29 OIC member countries, contributing to the UN’s Sustainable Developments Goals, which are good health and wellbeing, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, climate action, and partnerships for the goals.
“Latest global estimates show that more than 800 million people do not have access to clean water and more than 2.3 billion people have no access to sanitation,” Azmin further said.
“Therefore, it is estimated that a person is infected with cholera or similar diarrhoeal diseases every 10 seconds.”
He described Malaysia as a leading market for Islamic financing and sukuk issuances.
“The success of this partnership is proof that Islamic financing together with private capital, and traditional overseas development aid can jointly create transformative impact for communities in need.”