The International Islamic Trade and Finance Corporation (ITFC) has extended a USD 15 million (MVR 231.30 million) credit facility to State Trading Organization (STO) to assist in the procurement of staple food, medicine and medical equipment amid the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.
STO has announced that in addition to the loan, ITFC will also extend a grant to support sourcing of emergency medical equipment.
The financing will be used to procure staple food, medicine, and crucial personal protective equipment for the use of frontline workers such as anti-fog face shields, safety goggles and protective uniform suits.
STO's Managing Director Hussain Amr said ITFC’s funding would help reinforce the Maldivian government’s efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
“The emergency ITFC financing granted to STO further strengthened 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,” said Amr. “In addition, the funding will further help to meet the needs of the people through the steady supply of necessary food staples.”
Both the loan and the grant are part of ITFC’s COVID-19 response to support member countries.
ITFC’s COVID-19 Rapid Response Facility of USD 300 million is part of the wider envelope of USD 2.3 billion pledged by the Islamic Development Bank under its 3Rs Response Package, ‘Respond, Restore, Restart.’
ITFC’s CEO Hani Salem Sonbol said that it was the corporation’s mandate to stand by the side of its member countries and provide the critical support they needed in crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
“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 two crucial sectors: food and healthcare,” said Sonbol.
ITFC is a member of the Islamic Development Bank Group, established with the primary objective of advancing trade among Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member countries, ultimately contributing to the overarching goal of improving socioeconomic conditions of people across the world.
Since its establishment in 2008, ITFC has provided more than USD 51 billion to member countries.