ITFC intervention provides for basic food needs and a grant for providing immediate life-saving front-line personal protective medical equipment in the fight against novel coronavirus

(Jeddah, KSA, 18 May 2020) – The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), provides US$15 million in favor of State Trading Organization (STO), Maldives to facilitate their procurement of staple food, medicine & medical equipment during COVID-19 pandemic crisis. In addition to the financing of US$15 million, ITFC is also extending a grant to the Republic of Maldives for supporting their sourcing of emergency medical equipment during the outbreak of the coronavirus. Both the financing and grant are part of ITFC’s COVID-19 response to support its member countries.

ITFC’s COVID-19 Rapid Response Facility of US$ 300 million is part of the wider envelope of US$2.3 billion pledged by the Islamic Development Bank under its 3Rs Response Package, ‘Respond, Restore and Restart’. With ITFC’s financing and grant, STO will purchase staple food and medicine as well as purchase crucial personal protective equipment for the use of medical professionals such as anti-fog face shields, safety goggles and, protective uniform suits.

Commenting on ITFC’s package, Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, ITFC CEO, said: “It is our mandate to stand by the side of our member countries and provide the critical support they need in challenging times like this. In alignment with the IsDB 3Rs Package, ITFC is helping the Republic of Maldives in its efforts to address the spread of the novel coronavirus through supporting the 2 critical sectors: food and healthcare.”

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From his side, Mr. Husen Amru Mohamed Rashad, CEO and Managing Director Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of State Trading Organization (STO) commented, “The Government of Maldives began preparing well in advance for a possible COVID-19 outbreak in the country by conducting a risk assessment, and forming a national response guideline and health emergency coordination committee in addition to arranging for supplies of testing kits so that testing for the virus could be conducted locally. The emergency ITFC financing granted to STO further strengthens the Government’s efforts to assess risks, immediate and intermediate needs for screening, contact tracing, testing of suspected cases and treating those who are affected. In addition, the funding will further help to meet the needs of the people through the steady supply of necessary food staples.

This financing aims to enhance the protection of frontline medical staff who are working against the disease. The grant also reflects ITFC’s commitment to good health and wellbeing in OIC member countries and to their long-term socio-economic stability and growth.