ITFC to provide $850m to OIC countries fighting Covid-19

The Jeddah-based financial institution will immediately provide $300m in assistance

A picture taken on November 17, 2016 shows the national flags of the members of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) states flying in front of the clock of the Abraj al-Bait Towers which overlooks the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Mecca. (Photo by STRINGER / AFP)
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The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), is providing $850 million (Dh3.1 billion) in financial assistance to member countries of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation to help them cope with the coronavirus pandemic.

The Jeddah-based financial institution, which is part of the Islamic Development Bank, made $300m available to OIC member countries immediately as part of a ‘Rapid Response Initiative’. It also earmarked another $550m, which will be deployed over the next two years as part of Recovery Response Programme, to address socio-economic damage from the coronavirus.

"The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation is moving quickly to consolidate efforts to mitigate the socio-economic risks that the virus poses to all our stakeholders in member countries," it said in a statement on Monday.
"ITFC is engaging closely with government stakeholders, partners, businesses and the financial institutions we work with," it said. "That dialogue enables us to respond in a coordinated manner to soften the economic fallout."
ITFC  is also responding to the different requests made by member countries to provide immediate crisis-related technical assistance programmes, including capacity building for medical personnel and capacity enhancement of laboratories. It is also assisting in sourcing medical equipment and medicines from its network.
"These funds are being directly funnelled towards eligible OIC member countries in most need of support – for critical supplies of energy, healthcare, food security and other life support requirements," the organisation said.

Set up in 2008 with the primary objective of advancing trade among OIC member countries, the ITFC has provided more than $51 billion in funding to boost trade and development in different countries of the group.

ITFC is also actively engaged with international, regional and local partners to scale up interim financing measures to contribute to the critical needs of the member countries.

The coronavirus pandemic is the biggest challenge to the global economy since the 2008 financial crisis. The outbreak has disrupted trade, the travel industry and rattled investors, wiping about $20 trillion from stock markets globally.

A global economic recession triggered by the outbreak of the coronavirus is expected to be deeper than the one that followed the global financial crisis in 2008-09, according to the International Monetary Fund.

A recent IHS Markit report projects real world gross domestic product could plunge as much as 2.8 per cent in 2020, compared with a drop of 1.7 per cent in 2009.