Africa: Isdb Group Sets To Embark On 2nd Generation Of Its Massive Health Project To Fight Avoidable Blindness In 12 African Countries

press release

In preparation for the launching of 2nd Generation (phase) of the Alliance to Fight Avoidable Blindness (AFAB), the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development, ISFD, hosted a Coordination Meeting in the city of Istanbul on 19-20th March, 2018. The official launching of AFAB 2nd Generation is to take place on the sidelines of the 43rd Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the IsDB Group in Tunis, Tunisia, 1-5 April, 2018.

The Hon. Undersecretary of Health of the Republic of Turkey, H.E. Prof. Dr. Eyup Gumus delivered a keynote speech at the opening of the AFAB Coordination Meeting  in Istanbul, participated by 32 different international, governmental, and non-governmental organizations with many elite ophthalmologists from the Republic of Turkey in attendance.

In his speech, H.E. Prof. Eyup Gumus expressed strong support for the 2nd Generation of the Alliance to Fight Avoidable Blindness (AFAB) in 12 African countries, all members of the Islamic Development Bank Group; Burkina Faso, Chad, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania, Mali, Mozambique, Niger and Togo.

According to H.E. Prof. Eyup Gumus, the Republic of Turkey commits to participate in AFAB 2nd Generation by performing one million cataract operations within the next five years which fall under IsDB – Turkey “Reverse Linkage Initiative”, a program that focuses on South-South cooperation for sharing of knowledge and experiences. An official announcement of this generous support is expected to be made by H.E. Prof. Eyup Gumus at the upcoming 43rd Annual Meeting of the IsDB Group in Tunisia.

Another keynote speaker at the Coordination Meeting was Dr. Waleed Al Wohaib, Director General of ISFD, who commented on why the 2nd Generation of AFAB is set in motion saying: “About 33 million people in Africa suffer from visual impairment while nearly 75% of these cases can be prevented or treated, especially those related to cataract.”

Elsewhere in his speech, Dr. Walid Al Wohaib referred to AFAB as a great success in making South-South cooperation a reality which as a result of its 1st Generation has provided eye screening and necessary eye treatment to more than 244,000 people, training doctors and supplying medical equipment in 8 African countries, namely Benin, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Chad, Djibouti, Guinea, Mali and Niger.

“During the 1st Generation of the Alliance, ISFD and its partners, managed to restore eyesight to more than 49,000 blind people from different age groups,” explained ISFD Director General, Dr. Walid Al Wohaib.

He then thanked the partners to the 1st Generation of the Alliance to Fight Avoidable Blindness (AFAB) as well as the government and nation of Turkey for hosting the AFAB 2nd Generation coordination meeting in Istanbul and invited the participants at the coordination meeting to join hands for realization of the goals of this program.

According to the IsDB Group’s ISFD Director General, the 2nd Generation of AFAB also aims to boost capacity development measures in eye care and eye surgery by establishing health centers and providing scholarships to train new doctors and nurses in the recipient countries.

The ISFD’s Director General also stated that he is expecting the set objectives of the AFAB 2nd Generation (2018-2022) will be increased ten times, considering the recent announcements made by H.E. Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health-Turkey and Dr.Abdullah Smit of Direct Aid, from the State of Kuwait, during the opening ceremony. Many other announcements are expected to follow from partners from Azerbaijan, Austria, BADEA, Brazil, Egypt, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mali, Morocco, Libya, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, UAE.

Note to Editors:

Profile of Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development

Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development (ISFD) is the poverty alleviation arm of the Islamic Development Bank Group and was established as a special fund within the IDB to reduce poverty in its member countries by promoting pro-poor growth, emphasizing human development, especially improvements in health care and education, and providing financial support to enhance the productive capacity and sustainable means of income for the poor. ISFD also helps in securing electric power and different services to underdeveloped rural areas.

Headquartered in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, the Fund was officially launched during the 32nd Annual Meeting of the IDB Board of Governors (BOG), held on 29-30 May, 2007G in Dakar, Senegal. The Fund has been established in the form of a Waqf (i.e. Trust), with a principal target capital of US $10.00 billion. The approvals of ISFD amounts to US $700 million and the cost of approvals is estimated around US $4 billion.

Two overarching themes, in line with the IDB Vision 1440H, define the focus of the ISFD: Improving and enhancing the income of the poor, and promoting the development of human capital.

IsDB Group portfolio in Turkey

The Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group is a globally AAA rated Multi-lateral Development Bank (MDB) which maintains regional offices in several of its 57 member countries. In Turkey, the Bank Group maintains a Regional Hub with offices in Ankara and Istanbul and develops its country strategy in line with the Government’s Medium-Term Development Plan to support its development objectives and growth targets under 2023 Vision, which aims to transform Turkey to be among the top 10 largest economies in the world by 2023.

The IsDB Group Portfolio in Turkey consists of 483 operations amounting to USD 11.2 billion of approvals since the inception of the Bank nearly 43 years ago. This includes USD 3.8 billion of approvals by IsDB, USD 6.7 billion of trade financing by its international trade financing arm, ITFC, and more than USD 737 million of private sector financing by its private sector development entity, ICD.

Since the operationalization of the IsDB Group Country Office in Turkey in late 2014, there has been a significant scale-up as IsDB’s approvals for 2015-17 reached USD 3.8 billion which represent 34% of approvals since inception. IsDB portfolio from Ordinary Capital Resources of the Bank consists of 106 operations amounting to USD 3.8 billion in Turkey, where 92 operations worth around USD 2.1 billion have been successfully completed and 14 operations amounting to USD 1.7 billion are active. Active projects are in Islamic finance, Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) development, education, transportation, energy and health sectors.

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