Societies and economies are being affected by the unprecedented and unpredictable nature of the COVID-19 pandemic. These include a major shift in global trade routes, changes in consumption and extraordinary levels of monetary easing and stimulus packages at a scale never experienced before. The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) (www.ITFC-IDB.org) is moving quickly to consolidate efforts to mitigate the socio-economic risks that the virus poses to all our stakeholders in member countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
As we assess how COVID-19 affects the work we do and the impact on member countries, ITFC is engaging closely with government stakeholders, partners, businesses and the financial institutions we work with. That dialogue enables us to respond in a coordinated manner to soften the economic fallout. This is in addition to practical measures that have already been taken.
ITFC has moved quickly to put in place emergency financing measures to ensure that member countries continue to receive the support needed. Our COVID-19 ‘Rapid Response Initiative’ (RRI) has made US$ 300 million immediately available.
ITFC is also responding to the different requests made by Member Countries to provide immediate crisis-related technical assistance programs, including capacity building for medical personnel and capacity enhancement of laboratories. ITFC is also assisting in sourcing medical equipment and medicines from its network.
These funds are being directly funneled towards eligible OIC member countries in most need of support – for critical supplies of energy, healthcare, food security and other life support requirements. ITFC is in continuous consultations with OIC member countries to ascertain their most pressing needs as the pandemic unfolds.
An additional fund – the ‘Recovery Response Program’ (RRP) – earmarks another $550 million for deployment over the next two years. The RRP is aimed at fixing the socio-economic damage which is expected to last longer than immediate impact of the virus.
ITFC is actively engaging international, regional and local partners as a strategic means of scaling these interim financing measures to contribute to the critical needs of the member countries and where necessary, on the mobilization of trade development support services during the pandemic. This includes helping OIC member countries with strategies for the control and production of healthcare facilities.
ITFC employees continue to work remotely through virtual platforms and other online means of communication, to ensure business is running as usual. We remain fully engaged and responsive to the business and socio-economic needs of the many millions of people we serve.
Whilst the challenges and impact of COVID 19 continue to evolve, we are certain by uniting and standing in solidarity with our member countries, we will overcome the crisis.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC).
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About the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC):
The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) (www.ITFC-IDB.org) is a member of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group. It was established with the primary objective of advancing trade among OIC Member Countries, which would ultimately contribute to the overarching goal of improving socioeconomic conditions of the people across the world. Commencing operations in January 2008, ITFC has since consolidated all trade finance businesses that used to be handled by various windows within the IsDB Group. Earning the A1 rating by Moody’s is a reflection of the Corporation’s creditworthiness and financial strength to responding swiftly to customer needs in a market-driven business environment.
Since 2008, ITFC has provided more than US$51 billion to OIC Member Countries, making it the leading provider of trade solutions for the Member Countries’ needs. With a mission to become a catalyst for trade development for OIC Member Countries and beyond, the Corporation helps entities in Member Countries gain better access to trade finance and provides them with the necessary trade-related capacity building tools, which would enable them to successfully compete in the global market.
LinkedIn: International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC)
Hani Salem Sonbol, CEO, ITFC