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Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Pandemic

As part of the US$ 2.3 Billion Package, IsDB Provides US$ 1.86 Billion to 27 Member Countries to Contain COVID-19

IsDB President Dr. Bandar Hajjar continued, for the 6th week in a row, his meetings with Governors for Member Countries (MCs) to discuss the Bank’s financial assistance to support their efforts to fight COVID19.

Dr. Bandar Hajjar met with H.E. Sooronbay Jeenbekov, President of Kyrgyz Republic, H.E. Alpha Condé, President of Guinea, and H.E. Mr. Azali Assoumani, President of Comoros, in addition to 37 IsDB Governors to discuss the challenges facing MCs as a result of COVID-19, and the financial package provided by the Bank to meet their urgent needs – especially in health sector. The assistance also covers the economic sector, to address the repercussions of the disease which go beyond health: the threat to MSMEs and other income generating activities in MCs and abroad.

The assistance totals announced by the President, in meetings with MCs, has so far reached US$ 1.86 billion for 27 member countries. The technical teams from IsDB and about 15 member countries are still in continuous discussions to estimate their basic needs to finalise their financial packages as part of the first stage of IsDB Group support, which is composed of three stages (Respond, Restore, and Restart), and that will cover their needs in the short, medium and long terms.

On Monday, Dr. Bandar Hajjar held a virtual conference with H.E Abdoulaye Bio Tchané, Senior Minister of Planning and Development, Benin, to discuss the IsDB Group’s contribution of US$ 131 million to support the country in its fight against COVID-19. Dr. Bandar Hajjar explained in the meeting that the IsDB is in touch with all MCs to ensure that they will pass this ordeal safely, “I believe these difficult times call for a collective and coordinated action not only to contain the COVID-19 outbreak but also to address the aftermath so that our communities get back to their normal lives,” he said.

He added that the IsDB Group wider envelope for Benin is currently under discussion and subject to the Bank’s formal approval, explaining that the aggregate assistance package provided by IsDB Group consists of a combination of soft loans, ordinary resources, private sector finance, trade finance and credit and investment insurance.  

Webinar NCD hard talks: making health systems deliver - COVID-19 and NCD: deadly interplay and continuity response

Health systems around the world face surging demand for care of people with COVID-19, with critical challenges disrupting the delivery of health services.

People living with NCDs are at heightened risk of becoming severely ill or dying from COVID-19, and the latest data shows massive disruptions in access to NCD services worldwide, which threatens a long-term upsurge in deaths from NCDs.

This webinar explores the latest data and operational guidance, with key insights from experts and country perspectives on how to balance the demands of the health system during the pandemic, and how to execute an adaptive, forward-looking strategy inclusive of NCDs to build back better.

Webinar information: COVID-19 and NCD: Deadly Interplay and Continuity Response

  • WHEN: Thursday, 11 June 2020 at 13:00-14:30 CEST
  • WHERE: Virtual Zoom Meeting
  • Registration link
Al-Othaimeen calls on the OIC Virtual Meeting on the novel Coronavirus to take Collective Action to face the Pandemic

The emergency virtual meeting of the Steering Committee on Health (SCH) on the COVID-19 pandemic was held at the level of health ministers on 9 April 2020 at the OIC headquarters in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The participants’ statements and interventions were made via video conference.

H.E. the Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Dr. Yousef A. Al-Othaimeen, addressed the meeting chaired by H.E. Abdul-Rahman Bin Mohamed Al-Owais, Minister of Health and Prevention of the United Arab Emirates. The meeting was attended remotely by the Ministers of Health, members of the OIC-SCH, and by Dr. Bandar bin Muhammad Hajjar, President of the Islamic Development Bank Group (IsDB Group), together with representatives of OIC institutions and organs and a number of international organizations.

Dr. Al-Othaimeen said that the meeting convenes at a time the entire world is facing an unprecedented challenge in human history, as millions of people are infected with the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).

The Secretary General pointed to COVID-19’s impacts on economy, health and different walks of social life, stating that this required OIC Member States to take immediate and decisive preventive, treatment and sensitization measures at the national, regional and international levels to curb the spread of the disease and protect people.

Al-Othaimeen stressed the determination of the OIC and its institutions to play their role in helping the Member States to fight COVID-19 collectively, emphasizing the OIC’s readiness to utilize its available resources to help the peoples of the Islamic world in these difficult times.

The Secretary-General said that many of the healthcare systems of OIC Member States need urgent support to face the steady increase in the numbers of patients, expressing appreciation to the Islamic Development Bank and the Islamic Solidarity Fund (OIC-ISF) for their initiatives to address the adverse impacts of the pandemic.

Al-Othaimeen appealed to all the Member States, their governments, institutions and individuals, to make generous donations to the OIC-ISF, such as to enable the OIC to provide the much-needed support.

Link: https://www.oic-oci.org/topic/?t_id=23318&t_ref=13976&lan=en

Islamic Development Bank to Support Pioneering Ideas in the Fight Against COVID-19 via $500m Transform Fund

Launched in 2018, the IsDB’s Transform Fund invests in early stage innovative ideas and the scaling of innovations by providing seed money for innovators, entrepreneurs, start-ups, SMEs and institutions that need initial funding and growth capital to develop their ideas. For this call for innovation, IsDB will financially support ideas that help curb the spread of COVID-19, minimise the socio-economic impact of the pandemic and build the resilience of the Bank’s member countries in responding to outbreaks and pandemics long-term.

His Excellency Dr. Bandar Hajjar, President, Islamic Development Bank Group, said: “One of the many issues this pandemic has shown us is that survival depends on heavily on investment in science, technology and innovation. We encourage entrants that have innovations with a focus on advanced technology, innovative health supply chain management, low cost rapid tests and capacity building innovations. We have identified these key categories for innovation as the building blocks for preparedness and response in tackling present and future outbreaks and pandemics.”

The latest call for innovation via the Transform Fund is the latest in a series of commitments from IsDB to help member countries cope with the adverse impacts of COVID-19. Earlier this month, ISDB announced a comprehensive $2 billion package based on the “Respond, Restore, Restart” principles.

Open from 1 April 2020, the call for innovation will identify, encourage and reward innovative proposals that will benefit local communities focused on the following:

  1. The application of advanced technology, such as IoT, Big Data, Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence to track and monitor the spread of COVID-19 and other emerging Infectious diseases for improved diseases surveillance systems and patient care
  2. Innovative health supply chain management systems, powerful search engine of medical supplies, new Biosafety Laboratory Level-3 Design technology and biocontainment
  3. The development of low-cost rapid tests and screening methods, such as Point-of-Care rapid tests, molecular tests and diagnostic test quality, for early detection, diagnostic, treatment and prevention solutions including vaccine production for COVID-19
  4. Capacity building interventions targeted at improving operational capacities of health care providers in the field epidemiology and infection control management of highly pathogenic cases, such as training, deployment of software applications, awareness campaigns, service delivery or research centres.

The Fund will look for applications specifically linked to tackling COVID-19 in relation to the following six UN Sustainable Development Goals:

  • SDG2: zero hunger
  • SDG3: good health and well-being
  • SDG4: Quality education
  • SDG6: clean water and sanitation
  • SDG7: affordable and clean energy
  • SDG9: industry innovation and infrastructure

The categories of application are:

  • Category 1: New Ideas with Proof of Concept, Funding Opportunity: Grants ranging from US$ 50,000-100,000
  • Category 2: Scaling up of Innovative Projects, Funding Opportunity: Equity Participation up to US$ 300,000
  • Category 3: Commercialization of Technology Funding Opportunity: Equity Participation up to US$ 1,000,000
  • Category 4: Capacity Building in Science, Technology and Innovation Funding Opportunity: Grants ranging from US$ 100,000-150,000

The submission for application is open from 1 April to 1 June 2020.

Link: https://www.isdb.org/news/islamic-development-bank-to-support-pioneering-ideas-in-the-fight-against-covid-19-via-500m-transform-fund

UN Issues $2 Billion Appeal to Combat COVID-19

The United Nations launched a US$2 billion coordinated global humanitarian response plan to fight COVID-19 in some of the world’s most vulnerable countries in a bid to protect millions of people and stop the virus from circling back around the globe.

The COVID-19 Global Humanitarian Response Plan will be implemented by UN agencies, with international NGOs and NGO consortiums playing a direct role in the response. It will:

  • deliver essential laboratory equipment to test for the virus, and medical supplies to treat people;
  • install handwashing stations in camps and settlements;
  • launch public information campaigns on how to protect yourself and others from the virus; and
  • establish airbridges and hubs across Africa, Asia and Latin America to move humanitarian workers and supplies to where they are needed most.

Link: https://www.unocha.org/story/un-issues-2-billion-appeal-combat-covid-19