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Al Baraka Banking Group signs a Global MOU with UN Environment

Targets $197million financing for environmental projects

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Press Release
Manama: Al Baraka Banking Group (ABG) and UN Environment (UNEP) have proposed to collaborate for leveraging private finance for environmental projects in Al Baraka network countries. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed on May 20, 2019 to formalise the strategic partnership by the President & Chief Executive of ABG, Mr. Adnan Ahmed Yousif and the UN Environment Acting Executive Director Ms. Joyce Msuya.

The partnership aims at developing best practices in sustainable development, which is vital for the successful transitions to green economies – an effort to fulfil a shared common vision in sustainable development between the two organizations. UN Environment West Asia Office and Al Baraka Banking Group will facilitate knowledge exchange, replication of successful solutions, and transfer of expertise by establishing standards and innovative finance approaches for varying contexts through collaboration in research and events.

At the signing ceremony, ABG’s President & Chief Executive, Mr. Adnan Ahmed Yousif said, “It is the Group’s intention to finance environmental projects of over $197 million for 2019- 2020 in various countries where Al Baraka operates. This pledge comes as part of the Al Baraka Sustainable Development Goals (2016-2020). We expect that our collective effort will help reduce carbon emissions in these countries. In addition, we hope that this financing pledge will encourage other banks to similarly finance renewable and energy efficiency projects”.

On her part, the UN Environment Acting Executive Director, Ms. Joyce Msuya stated, “Partnerships and financing are critical to achieving the environmental challenges facing the planet. Through channeling private finance for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects, we hope this partnership will be able to strengthen efforts to achieve sustainable development in the region while improving the lives of local communities.” Msuya further reinforced the UNEP’s commitment to extend its comparative advantage in renewable energy and energy efficiency to support all the units of ABG in the integration of the environmental dimension of the SDGs into Al Baraka’s development plans.

It is noteworthy that Al Baraka SDG Goals are aligned with seven of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030. As part of this pledge, Al Baraka Group will extend its support to renewable and energy efficiency projects in Al Baraka’s operating countries by:

Financing over $78 million towards renewable energy projects.
Financing over $ 119 million towards enhancing the energy efficiency of existing cooling & electric systems.
Mr. Yousif further added, “We are proud to support the United Nations Global Goals for Sustainable Development, as we believe that the UN Global Goals and Islamic finance are based on our inherent shared values. The current pledge of US$197 million is in addition to the previous pledge of US$ 635 million made in 2016, and brings the total of Al Baraka’s pledge to US$ 832 million for financing the Sustainable Development Goals. Achieving the Global Goals requires financing at different levels and, therefore, the banking and financial services sector has a key role to play. While the financing gap to meet the Global Goals is huge, the investment opportunity to finance Global Goals is equally huge and unprecedented. We can bridge the investment gap with more private investments”.

In conclusion, Mr. Yousif expressed sincere gratitude to Mr. Sami Dimassi, Regional Representative and Director of UN Environment West Asia Office and his team for their efforts in developing this collaboration, and stated his eagerness to working with them in implementing the MOU. Mr. Yousif also expressed the Group’s sincere appreciation to Mr. Amin El Sharkawi, Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in Bahrain, for his support, since the very start, in developing our Al Baraka SDG Goals and opening doors to other UN agencies. Mr. Stefano Pettinato, Resident Representative of UNDP Bahrain, for his efforts in implementing our MOU with UNDP.

-Ends-

About Al Baraka Banking Group’s SDG Goals.

In 2016 ABG announced the Al Baraka Goals (2016-2020), pledging over $635 million towards financing healthcare and educational projects. Al Baraka also pledged to help create jobs across the Al Baraka countries with the help of its financing operations. The current pledge of $197 million is in addition to the previous pledge and brings the total of Al Baraka’s pledge to USD 832 million for financing the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Al Baraka SDG Goals (2016-2020) seek to:

Create over 51,000 jobs.
Finance over $ 434 million for healthcare projects.
Finance over $191 million for educational projects.
Finance over $197 million for renewable and energy efficient projects.
The Group is on track to meet the targets for Al Baraka Goals and have exceeded our financing targets during 2016 and 2017.

About Al Baraka Banking Group

Al Baraka Banking Group B.S.C. (“ABG”) is licensed as an Islamic wholesale bank by the Central Bank of Bahrain and is listed on Bahrain Bourse and NasdaqDubai. It is a leading international Islamic banking group providing its unique services in countries with a population totaling around one billion. It is rated BBB+ (long term) / A3 (short term) by Islamic International Rating Agency and BB (long term) / B (short term) by Standard & Poor’s.

ABG and its Units offer retail, corporate, treasury and investment banking services, strictly in accordance with the principles of the Islamic Shari’a. The authorized capital of ABG is US$ 2.5 billion.

The Group has a wide geographical presence in the form of subsidiary banking units and representative offices in 17 countries, which in turn provide their services through over 700 branches. Al Baraka Banking Group has operations in Jordan, Egypt, Tunis, Bahrain, Sudan, Turkey, South Africa, Algeria, Pakistan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Morocco and Germany, in addition to one branch in Iraq and two representative offices in Indonesia and Libya.

Al Baraka Banking Group – Communications Contact :
Usha Ramesh +973 39334019 ; uramesh@albaraka.com

Hawra Salman + 973 17541122 Ext :230 hsalman@albaraka.com

About UN Environment

The United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) is the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system, and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment. Our mission is to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.

UN Environment West Asia Office – Communications Contact:
Nora Isayan +973 66910114
nora.isayan@un.org

© Press Release 2019

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