IsDB : South-South Cooperation Partner of the Month

About IsDB

The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) is a Multilateral Development Bank with 57 member countries across four continents (Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America). Its mission is to promote comprehensive human development, with a focus on the priority areas of alleviating poverty, improving health, promoting education, improving governance, and helping people prosper. The IsDB is a truly global institution, headquartered in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, with 12 regional offices. 

The IsDB Group comprises of five entities. The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), the Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI), the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), the Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit (ICIEC), and the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC). 

In accordance with its mandate to deliver development assistance to support member countries achieve sustainable development, the IsDB Group has, since inception till the end of 2019, achieved cumulative net approvals of Islamic Dinar 101.38 billion—equivalent to US$145.07 billion. These approvals cover a variety of projects and programmes in member countries covering a wide spectrum of sectors and thematic areas such as energy, health, education, climate change, women and youth.

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IsDB & South-South Cooperation

The Bank has been promoting South-South Cooperation (SSC) by connecting its member countries to help solve common development challenges. Through its Technical Cooperation Program (TCP) launched in 1983, the Bank supports its member countries through short-term technical cooperation activities with the overall aim to transfer capacity from one country to another. 

The TCP strives to 1) Mobilise the technical capacity expertise and training capabilities of IsDB member countries for the purpose of fostering collaboration within those countries; 2) Promote opportunities for the exchange of experience, information and appropriate technologies suited to the development needs of member countries; 3) Alleviate the managerial, technical and institutional constraints; 4) Intensify the matching of needs identified in member countries with the capacities available in other member countries, and promote closer partnership among them.

TCP has thus far ensured the training of more than 15,000 experts, provided the opportunity for more than 20,000 specialists to share their knowledge and experiences and dispatched 510 experts among member countries to help solve development challenges. These operations have helped to promote cross-country connectivity among individuals and institutions, to bridge cultures and contributed to strengthening solidarity among the member countries.

The operations covered a large number of sectors and sub-sectors in line with the needs of member countries and the priorities of the IsDB. This experience also highlighted the importance of undertaking long-term, results-oriented technical cooperation engagements with member countries in order to produce more sustainable results and establish enduring partnerships.  The longstanding experience in implementing technical cooperation activities demonstrated that all IsDB member countries possess a wealth of knowledge and expertise that can be tapped into to strengthen economic development.

IsDB’s Role in Deploying the Power of SSC to Tackle COVID-19

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bank is taking bold and agile actions to support its member countries tackle the fallout from the pandemic. The Bank is using Reverse Linkage as one of the delivery mechanisms in its toolkit and Strategic Preparedness and Response Program, known as the “3Rs” package: Respond, Restore and Restart, and worth USD 2.3 billion.

In addition to helping member countries to access critical medical supplies and equipment through Reverse Linkage, the Bank has been facilitating the exchange of know-how and expertise on how best to deal with this pandemic. This entails coordinating with public and private sector entities as well as civil society organizations. IsDB is also supporting centres of excellence in member countries that are on the frontlines to fight this pandemic to support their preparedness and enhance their capabilities.

IsDB Reverse Linkage Mechanism

In 2012, the IsDB introduced a new scaled-up, results-oriented, capacity development mechanism within the TCP. This is called Reverse Linkage and is based on the IsDB’s longstanding experience with the TCP. Using Reverse Linkage, the Bank identifies the existing know-how, expertise, technology and resources within our member countries and transfers them to those in need, with the objective of achieving sustainable development outcomes. Through Reverse Linkage, the Islamic Development Bank has become a leader in technical cooperation and is facilitating a more holistic, win-win SSC engagement that also fits within the scope of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and, more particularly, with Sustainable Development Goal 17 that demands the revitalization of global partnerships.

During the last couple of years, the Bank, through Reverse Linkage, connected more than 31 Member Countries to share their development solutions in many sectors including renewable energy, health, education, and agriculture, with a portfolio of projects worth over US$ 155 million. Building on its expertise and experiences through Reverse Linkage and other SSC mechanisms, the Bank not only improved the quality of its SSC interventions but also contributed to enriching the body of knowledge of SSC through introducing new frameworks such as the National Ecosystems for South-South and Triangular Cooperation

Through these experiences, the Bank is taking concrete steps to strengthen its position as a key player in SSC. This is fully in line with strategic orientations of the IsDB President’s five-Year Programme to transform the Bank from a mere financier to a Bank of Developers and Development—a development institution that not only provides financing but also plays a key role in connecting and engaging key stakeholders and partners to transform the development journey of its member countries. 

IsDB Partnership with UNOSSC

IsDB has been a long-standing partner of the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC). This partnership began in the mid-1980s when the two organizations convened a joint seminar in Jeddah for senior government officials of IsDB’s member countries to orient them on utilizing SSC modalities and to identify organizational arrangements for the effective coordination and promotion of SSC.

In October 2019, IsDB and UNOSSC, together with South Centre signed a letter of Intent to collaborate on areas of mutual interest and. Cooperation. This includes expanding collaboration for strengthening National Ecosystem and capacity development for South-South and Triangular Cooperation (SS&TrC). Of particular significance in the areas of cooperation, UNOSSC, in partnership with IsDB and a number of other key regional and global stakeholders, is supporting the Member States in advancing their respective SS&TrC agendas. Leveraging these partnerships, Regional Networking Forums, organized by UNOSSC, have created an open and conducive knowledge sharing setting in order to support stakeholders in further improving their understanding of trends and opportunities.

IsDB-UN Arab States South-South and Triangular Cooperation Initiative

Islamic Development Bank, United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) and the Office of the UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser (SGSA) launched, in October 2020, a new initiative to support the Arab States to showcase their experience and achievements as well as promote future partnerships on South-South and Triangular Cooperation through a series of webinars while documenting the wealth of knowledge through related publications.

The objective of this new initiative is to gain a good understanding of the state of South-South Cooperation and Triangular Cooperation in the Arab States. The webinars planned, to take place in 2021, as well as the related publications will provide effective platforms to share challenges, lessons learned and comparative advantages of South-South Cooperation and Triangular Cooperation in the Arab States and beyond. Through the introduction of good practices, the initiative will facilitate the establishment of new partnerships within the region as well as between the Arab States and other regions of the South by scaling up relevant success stories through South-South Cooperation and Triangular Cooperation.

Featured Publications

Key Partners

News & Updates

IsDB Featured News POM
February 10, 2021

President Perspective: A Wake-up Call: Addressing Global Challenges through South-South Cooperation

President Perspective: A Wake-up Call: Addressing Global Challenges through South-South Cooperation Without the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 would have been a different year for the global community because…
IsDB Featured News POM
February 10, 2021

Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Scholarship Programme 2021-2022, Deadline: 28 February 2021

The IsDB funds and implements its scholarship programmes as part of its overall efforts to develop the human resources of its member countries and those of the Muslim communities in…
IsDB Featured News POM
February 10, 2021

The Global Muslim Philanthropy Fund for Children approves US$ 12 million in new grants to support children in Bangladesh, Jordan and Pakistan

The innovative financing was made available by the UAE’s Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair Refugee Education Fund, and KSA’s King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSrelief) Jeddah-Riyadh/Dubai/New York, 1 February…
IsDB Featured News POM
February 9, 2021

The Arab Coordination Group Approves US$ 8.6 Billion to Help Countries Tackle the Economic Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic

The Arab Coordination Group (ACG) comprising of Arab Financial Development Institutions has approved/committed US$8.6 billion financing for developing countries to help them tackle the economic impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic.…

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