UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) are poverty alleviation arm, the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development (ISFD), have signed an agreement to launch the Global Islamic Fund for Refugees, an innovative, sustainable, and Sharia-compliant resource mobilization instrument that will open new Islamic philanthropy funding in support of millions of forcibly displaced people.
The agreement comes at a time when forced displacement has reached unprecedented levels and has become a critical global humanitarian and development crisis, requiring intensive, comprehensive, and collaborative international action.
“Forced displacement needs are at a record high and continue to rise. No institution alone could carry the burden. We need to strengthen existing partnerships and explore innovative solutions for the plight of the forcibly displaced,” said IsDB Group President, H.E. Dr. Muhammad Al Jasser. “We are proud of our partnership with UNHCR and are confident that our joint efforts will provide the necessary mechanisms to assist those in need.”
The initiative stems from ISFD and UNHCR’s respective mandates. It aims to provide effective, efficient, and predictable support to programs and projects for refugees, IDPs, and host communities in the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation member states, which are concentrated in regions that produce and host high numbers of refugees.
“Millions continue to be forced from their homes due to war, violence, persecution, and discrimination and they need and deserve our support,” said the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi. “Innovative sources of Islamic social financing, such as this groundbreaking agreement with the Islamic Development Bank, will enable UNHCR to help refugees and other forcibly displaced people with the protection and assistance needed to live in better, more dignified conditions. We are grateful to ISFD for its steadfast support and ongoing partnership. This initiative will unlock much-needed financial support to address the acute needs of those forcibly displaced.”
The agreement to launch the Global Islamic Fund for Refugees is an important step toward diversifying humanitarian funding sources and bolstering humanitarian relief efforts. The Fund will help mobilize immediate and multi-year funding in support of humanitarian programs and operations, in situations of forced displacement and across sectors.