The UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, and Islamic Development Bank (IsDB)’s poverty alleviation arm, the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development (ISFD), have signed an agreement to launch the Global Islamic Fund for Refugees (GIFR), an innovative sustainable and Sharia-compliant resource mobilization instrument that will open new Islamic philanthropy funding streams 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.
On the occasion, IsDB Group President, H.E. Dr. Muhammad Al Jasser said: “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.” He added: “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 both 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 OIC member states, a region that produces and hosts the highest number of global refugees.
“Millions of people continue to be forced from their homes due to war, violence, persecution and discrimination and they need and deserve our support. 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,” said UNHCR’s High Commissioner Filippo Grandi. “We are grateful to ISFD for its steadfast support and ongoing partnership. This groundbreaking initiative will unlock much-needed financial support to address the dire needs of those forcibly displaced”, he added.
The agreement to launch the Global Islamic Fund for Refugees is an important step towards diversifying humanitarian funding sources and bolstering humanitarian relief efforts. The GIFR will endeavor to mobilize additional funding in support of humanitarian programs and operations, in situations of forced displacement across sectors.