Ahmad Muhammad Ali, president of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group, met with Alan Duncan, UK minister of state for international development, at IDB headquarters in Jeddah on Sunday. They reviewed bilateral cooperation between the IDB and the UK Department for International Development (DFID) in reducing poverty and discussed recent developments in the region, including the G8 Deauville Partnership, which aims to support the transition process of Arab countries recently affected by major political changes.
The two development cooperation leaders agreed to work together to address the complex issue of unemployment, especially among the youth, by supporting initiatives and programs that improve education and employment prospects for young people in the Arab world.
Ali and Duncan signed an agreement on the exchange of staff between the two institutions to promote the sharing of expertise and experiences and the cross-fertilization of ideas on reducing poverty and improving the delivery and impact of development aid.
"This agreement represents a milestone for the growing partnership between the IDB and the DFID and reaffirms our commitment to jointly addressing poverty in common focus countries. I am highly confident that today's agreement will pave the way for stronger and broader cooperation between our two institutions for the benefit of our common focus countries," said Ali.
"Through this agreement, an expert from DFID is being seconded to IDB to further promote cooperation between the two institutions," he added.
"Today, DFID and IDB have marked their shared commitment to working together to reduce global poverty. Having a member of DFID staff seconded to the IDB is a significant step forward in the relationship between our two organizations. Furthermore, our discussions have identified a range of potential areas for joint working and I am looking forward to seeing our impact together on the ground. In partnership, DFID and IDB can have even greater results for poor people around the world," said Duncan.
He added that cooperation between the IDB and the DFID is expected to focus initially on Palestine, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, in addition to Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia, which are the focus countries of the G8 Deauville Partnership.