Madani terms as Is­lamic so­cial fi­nance

Pakistan Observer - - INTERNATIONAL -

IS­TAN­BUL,—In the spe­cial ses­sion on Is­lamic So­cial Fi­nance at the World Hu­man­i­tar­ian Sum­mit in Is­tan­bul on 23 May 2016, the Sec­re­tary Gen­eral of the Or­ga­ni­za­tion of Is­lamic Co­op­er­a­tion (OIC), Iyad Ameen Madani, stated that the cul­ture and tra­di­tions of Is­lamic giv­ing has been and con­tin­ues to be a cru­cial el­e­ment in deal­ing with global hu­man­i­tar­ian needs. “Peo­ple in the Is­lamic world have been ex­tremely generous de­spite the poor eco­nomic con­di­tions in many coun­tries in the Is­lamic world,” he said. Madani pointed to the scarcity of fi­nan­cial re­sources as a re­sult of the global eco­nomic sit­u­a­tion and huge hu­man­i­tar­ian de­mand, which is par­tic­u­larly trou­bling, as the global fund­ing gap for hu­man­i­tar­ian needs has reached US$ 7 bil­lion in 2014. Fur­ther­more, there is a need to have a re­newed view of bur­den shar­ing par­tic­u­larly that de­vel­op­ing coun­tries host over 86% of the world’s refugees, com­pared to 70% ten years ago with huge im­pli­ca­tions on de­velforts. op­ment ef­forts. The OIC Sec­re­tary Gen­eral re­ferred to the high­level panel on hu­man­i­tar­ian fitab­lished nanc­ing es­tab­lished by the UN Sec­re­tary Gen­eral. Madani said that OIC shares the ba­sic premise of the re­port of the high-level panel, namely, that the ob­jec­tive should be to re­duce needs, deepen and broaden the re­source base, and im­prove the ef­fi­ciency of de­liv­ery of hu­man­i­tar­ian as­sis­tance.

He went on to ex­plain Is­lamic So­cial Fi­nance, which fo­cuses on three seg­ments of Is­lamic giv­ing, Zakat (one of the 5 pil­lars of Is­lam it is a form of alms or re­li­gious tax), Sadaqat (char­i­ta­ble giv­ing) and Awqaf (en­dow­ment), as well as co­op­er­a­tive-based so­cial fi­nance and con­tem­po­rary Is­lamic mi­cro­fi­nance to deal with poverty al­le­vi­a­tion and bridging the devel­op­ment-fi­nanc­ing gaps.

Madani said that Sadaqat and Awqaf are much more flex­i­ble in their use from a re­li­gious point of view and are al­ready ex­ten­sively used in hu­man­i­tar­ian and de­vel­op­men­tal pur­poses.

As for Zakat, al­though al­ready a sig­nif­i­cant source of hu­man­i­tar­ian fi­nanc­ing, it re­mains in need for more in depth anal­y­sis, more in­no­va­tive con­cepts and more uni­fied in­ter­pre­ta­tion.

Within the OIC, the Is­lamic Devel­op­ment Bank (IDB) and the Sta­tis­ti­cal, Eco­nomic and So­cial Re­search and Train­ing Cen­ter for Is­lamic Coun­tries (SESRIC) are work­ing to­wards that ob­jec­tive with re­mark­able suc­cess.—Email to do ev­ery­thing to en­sure they are im­ple­mented in full as quickly as pos­si­ble.”

The Minsk ac­cords, signed in Fe­bru­ary 2015 with French and Ger­man me­di­a­tion and in the pres­ence of Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin, calls for a cease­fire along with a range of po­lit­i­cal, eco­nomic and so­cial mea­sures to end the con­flict in east­ern Ukraine.

The call comes as a Ukrainian soldier was killed and three oth­ers in­jured in a mor­tar at­tack by pro-Rus­sian in­sur­gents in the coun­try’s east, where vi­o­lence has per­sisted since the peace treaty.—Agen­cies

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