UKIFC, ISRA unveil report to support SDGs in Islamic finance sector

The Islamic Finance Council UK(UKIFC), in partnership with Malaysia- based International Shari’ah Research Academy for Islamic Finance (ISRA), has launched the first report to assist and encourage active engagement in support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the global Islamic finance sector.

The UKIFC advisory board member, Richard de Belder in a press statement issued yesterday in Abuja said UKIFC firmly believes that the Shari’ah principles which underpin Islamic finance make the sector well positioned to lead in promoting the SDGs to achieve global economic and social justice combined with sustainability.

He further said it will also drive home the point that we are all vice regents with temporary custody of the world’s finite resources and so need to act in a way that recognises this.

The report provides an introduction to the SDGs within the context of Islamic finance, emphasising the opportunity the SDGs present to the Islamic finance sector.

The SDGs seek to address global economic, social, governance and environmental challenges by 2030 and have been adopted by 193 countries.

With a $2.5 trillion per year financing gap, he said UKIFC has committed to a 24-month action orientedprogramme of activities to address barriers blocking Islamic Financial Institutions from embracing theSDGs.

He said there has been limited participation from Islamic finance sector in leading UN initiatives(such as Principles for Responsible Investment, Principles for Responsible Banking and Principles for Sustainable Insurance) that support financial institutions to align with the SDGs.

He said to achieve SDG targets, Islamic Development Bank Member Countries need annual funding of between US$700 billion and US$1 trillion which represents around 40% of the total global SDG financing gap.

Also, the Executive Director of International Shari’ah Research Academy for Islamic Finance (ISRA),Dr Akram Laldin said the Islamic finance has a lot of impact investment and can play a major role in addressing the problems faced by the society.

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