RIYADH: Saudi Arabia-based Islamic Development Bank has approved $1.12 billion for financing development projects for various sectors in nine member countries, according to a statement.
It has also approved a grant worth $1.79 million for a number of other projects including market access readiness in Yemen and special assistance grants to Muslim communities in three non-member countries.
The bank’s board of executive directors approved this funding during its 347th session held on Sept. 10 in Jeddah.
In the session, headed by the bank’s president and chairman Muhammad Al-Jasser, the bank also discussed the existing financing gap in the energy infrastructure of some of the member countries.
Accordingly, the lender approved two energy sector public-private partnership projects for Uzbekistan and Uganda.
This happens as the countries’ governments use the PPP financing model to attract private sector investment expertise to deliver improved public services and accelerate economic growth.
The 100 million euro ($101 million) Surkhandarya Combined Cycle Power Plant Project in Uzbekistan is expected to meet the growing demand for the country’s energy consumption.
It will also enable the country to phase out its aging and inefficient fleet of gas-fired thermal power plants, the lender said.
With regards to Uganda, the $100 million financing, which is part of the Islamic tranche, will allow the country to capitalize on its oil reserves and export oil to international markets through a 1443-kilometer cross-border buried-heated crude oil pipeline.
In the sustainable transport sector, IsDB approved $601.7 million as sovereign financing for transport projects in Guyana, Uzbekistan, and Uganda.
These projects are expected to enhance transport infrastructure, facilitate market access for farmers and traders, and boost tourism.
In August, the bank’s President Mohammed Al-Jasser met with Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev to discuss strengthening cooperation between both parties, Saudi Press Agency reported.
A letter of intent was signed during the meeting to provide a framework for facilitating cooperation, promoting rapid processing and approval of projects and operations that are part of the work program of the IsDB Group for Uzbekistan in 2022.
During their meeting, the two sides also emphasized the need to facilitate the joining of more co-financiers to participate in financing large projects.