Jeddah (UNA-OIC) – The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) held a knowledge sharing virtual event this week to up-skill colleagues and explore possible areas of collaboration in order to support socioeconomic recovery and development facilitated by the two organizations.
Sustainable support for businesses, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and other sources of livelihoods has been key to IsDB’s plan to help immediate socioeconomic recovery in member countries that have been impacted by COVID-19.
UNOPS has been implementing different projects aimed at improving the livelihoods of people affected by different crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic. UNOPs projects have so far helped thousands of beneficiaries, including the elderly and those from women-headed households, with social assistance measures such as cash for work, cash transfer schemes, and grant schemes.
During the knowledge sharing session, the team referenced ‘IsDB’s Strategic Preparedness and Response Program (SPRP)’ aimed at helping our member countries mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and implemented under the 3Rs track – ‘Respond, Restore, and Restart’.
Representatives from UNOPS showcased possible areas of partnership to support IsDB’s efforts to help member countries back on the path to economic recovery. UNOPS presented their programmatic experience across different facets of socio-economic recovery during and post-crisis, and more specifically, the restoration of livelihoods and support to SMEs. During the event, UNOPS presented information on field projects in Jordan, Myanmar and Serbia as examples of experience on topics such as: (i) Cash for work; (ii) Cash transfers; (iii) SME support etc.
In April 2018, IsDB and UNOPS signed an MoU that provides a general framework to facilitate collaboration in areas of common interest under the sustainable development Agenda 2030. The main components of the MoU include (i) Capacity Assessment and Development; (ii) Project Preparation and Implementation; and (iii) Strategic engagement in Fragile and Conflict-affected member countries. The two institutions have a Joint Action Plan to support the implementation, monitoring and reporting on the progress of the MoU. It is periodically updated by the relevant focal points at UNOPS and IsDB.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, UNOPS has supported the Jeddah-based IsDB and its member countries in procuring vital medical and non-medical equipment— including scanners, respiratory equipment, ambulances, mobile radios, hospital beds, and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
The medical and non-medical supplies have helped efforts of frontline health workers to strengthen health systems by improving testing capacity and early detection, as well as supporting the management of COVID-19 cases.
UNOPS is also partnering with IsDB to support the Bank’s COVID-19 related interventions in Maldives and Cameroon.