Kuala Lumpur, 5 September – INCEIF is working with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to develop innovative ways to raise funds aimed at better serving communities and meeting global shortfalls in finances needed for humanitarian action.
Following a two-day workshop recently organised by INCEIF’s Social Finance Unit for IFRC officials from various parts of the world, a number of financial initiatives based on Islamic social finance are being developed to provide alternative fund raising options for IFRC’s aid efforts.
The workshop, held in Kuala Lumpur, brought together IFRC officials including those who specialised in climate change and WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) efforts, donors and Islamic finance experts. Taking advantage of each other’s knowledge and experience, the 50 participants brainstormed and identified a number of Islamic social financial instruments which could be applied in IFRC’s humanitarian work.
INCEIF Acting President & CEO Mr Dzalin Ayub said the university and IFRC have embarked on an unprecedented exploration, leveraging on each other’s strengths with the shared aim of making this world a better place for all.
“As a proponent of Islamic finance, INCEIF believes its principles and practices can create meaningful impact towards financing the noble work carried out by IFRC. After all, Islamic finance and IFRC do have the shared values of preventing and alleviating human suffering, of maintaining and promoting human dignity and peace in the world.”
INCEIF Social Finance Unit, which is headed by Assistant Professor Dr Ziyaad Mahomed, has been developed with the following objectives:
- To provide Islamic Social Finance critique and offer potential solutions in academic and professional research;
- To conduct analysis, implementation and monitoring of Islamic Social finance projects;
- To provide Islamic financial modelling techniques to deal with social challenges, utilising sustainable methodology through application of zakat, sadaqah, waqf and hybrid solutions;
- To promote financial inclusion.
Dr Ziyaad said: “The need for sustainable finance solutions have become ever more crucial. Global social challenges are trending upwards with rising income inequality and mass migrations due to crisis. INCEIF is encouraged to see that international organisations such as the IFRC and UNDP (United Nations Development Program) are also actively considering Islamic finance solutions to reduce the funding gap.”
IFRC Under Secretary General (Partnerships) Tan Sri Dr Jemilah Mahmood said: “Despite huge economic and social progress globally, there remains persistent challenges that are exacerbated by prolonged crises, climate change and rising inequality.
“The question that needs addressing is how can we minimise the inequality and better serve communities. We need to find innovative ways to generate funds that can help our national societies build the resilience of communities and respond to life-threatening calamities. Globally, this is all about duty and dignity in financing to meet humanitarian needs. The Islamic Social Finance is one such valuable alternate financing opportunity that has the potential to really serve underserved communities and address humanitarian and development needs.”
INCEIF also plans to tap into its alumni network, which covers over 80 countries worldwide, to connect with IFRC and its affiliates at country or regional level where applicable, to advocate on utilisation of funds mobilised through Islamic social finance in order to support Red Cross and Red Crescent programmes for alleviating human suffering and promoting human dignity at all times.
There are also plans for INCEIF to send its students periodically for internships, to IFRC Regional Offices to provide enhanced support to countries in Asia Pacific, Africa, the Americas, MENA and Europe regions for Islamic Finance initiatives.