Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) has approved projects worth $403 million in its member countries such as Egypt, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to help boost the country's infrastructure.

The top among the go-aheads given by IsDB at its 350th board meeting held today (April 1) in the city of Jeddah, was the euro 318 million ($344.5 million) financing for Phase I of the Electric Express Train Project in Egypt.

The project was being implemented to provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all by developing a 660km sustainable, green, and climate-resilient electric express railway system.

This project is expected to benefit 25 million people annually and decrease Green House Gas (GHG) emissions by approximately 250,000 tons of CO2 annually, it stated.

Chaired by IsDB President and Group Chairman Dr Muhammad Al Jasser, the meeting okayed funds for these projects that support socio-economic development and promote sustainability in member countries in key sectors such as energy, education, and transport.

In his remarks, Dr Al Jasser said: "These transformative projects will have a significant impact on improving transportation, education, and energy, as well as promoting regional economic integration and addressing emergency situations."

"The IsDB Group remains committed to supporting its member countries in their pursuit of prosperity and resilience, particularly during these challenging times," he stated.

The Board also approved an additional financing of $13 million for the Central Asia South Asia Electricity Transmission and Trade Project (CASA-1000) in the Republic of Kyrgyzstan. The bank had originally approved $50 million towards this project.

The project aims to meet the electricity demand in Afghanistan and Pakistan through the establishment of cross-border energy exchange among four IsDB member countries as part of the Bank’s regional economic integration strategy.

Once operational, the project will utilize efficient and environmentally friendly indigenous hydropower resources of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, creating conditions for sustainable electricity trade between Central and South Asia, said the statement from IsDB.

The third approved project is the IsDB/ISFD/GPE/OFID Project for Support to Implementation of the National Education Development Strategy of Tajikistan (Phase II), with IsDB's financing contribution of $35 million and ISFD's contribution of $10 million.

The project aims to improve the learning environment and facilitate system strengthening for the country's sustainable implementation of an inclusive, competency-based education system. The project is a partnership between IsDB, Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development (ISFD), Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and Opec Fund for International Development (OFID).

Additionally, the Board members deliberated on an emergency grant funding from the IsDB to provide support to Turkiye, and Syria in the aftermath of devastating earthquakes that struck both countries.

Furthermore, the IsDB Board reviewed the progress report of the IsDB Group Food Security Response Program (FSRP), aimed at supporting member countries in better averting the ongoing food crisis and further strengthening their resilience to future food security shocks.

The IsDB Board of Executive Directors continues to support member countries in achieving their sustainable development goals and strengthening their resilience to future development challenges.

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