On Thursday 23, April 2020 Mrs. Nathalie Fustier from The United Nations Resident Coordinator in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and Mr. Ayman Sejiny, the CEO of the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), the private sector arm of Islamic Development Bank Group, signed a Letter of Understanding (LoU) to conduct a study on the potential of Awqaf in contributing to the achievement of Saudi Arabia’s National Transformation Programme (NTP) and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in KSA.
UNRCO and ICD have identified Awqaf as a potential accelerator and a crucial source of sustainable financing for KSA’s Vision 2030, NTP, the UN 2030 Agenda and (SDGs).
In addition, the research findings will support the government’s broad efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic which affected all communities in general and the vulnerable communities, in particular.
The study aims to provide a conceptual framework by which Awqaf can align with NTP and the SDGs, estimate the potential contribution of Awqaf to the NTPs and the SDGs and provide actionable recommendations to move forward with pilot projects. The added value and the outcome of the research will be within the framework of KSA’s Vision 2030 and UN’s 2030.
The CEO of ICD, Mr. Ayman Sejiny commented: “In today’s challenging market and current health circumstances, the ability to support the member countries and the SDGs is critical for success. We believe that the LoU with UNRCO represents a significant milestone toward cementing the development relations with UN bodies and leveraging the vast networks and expertise of both parties to elaborate this strategic study and realize its objectives.” He further stated said, “throughout the history, Awqaf have proven to play a major role in providing sustainable financing and that is why ICD and UNRCO are keen to study the potential of Awqaf in this challenging era”.
The UNRC, Ms. Nathalie Fustier added: “Cooperation with ICD on such a crucial issue will be instrumental in finding innovative ways to navigate these uncertain times. The socio-economic impact of COVID 19 will hit the most vulnerable people first and Awqaf have the potential to make a difference not only in Saudi Arabia but eventually in a number of Islamic countries.