Islamic finance considered for disaster relief funding, Sri Lanka forum told

ECONOMYNEXT – Islamic finance is being considered as an option for disaster relief with funding becoming scarce and refugee numbers the highest since the Second World War, a disaster risk reduction forum in Sri Lanka was told.

Up to 60 million people are displaced today due to conflict and natural disasters, the highest since 1945, said Amjad Mohamed-Saleem, Sri Lanka Country Representative of International Alert, a peacebuilding organisation.

Conflicts in Syria, South Sudan and Iraq account for over a quarter of people displaced around the world, he told the ‘Sendai Spring – Turning Risk to Resilience’ forum.

Up to 20 billion US dollars are needed this year to meet the needs of refugees but only a fraction of that funding is available, Saleem said.

“Already, the World Humanitarian Summit is looking at Islamic financing to maximise funding,” Saleem said.

The summit brings together governments, aid agencies and the private sector to look at more effectively dealing with the growing numbers of people affected by disasters and conflicts.

Saleem said state organisations and the private sector were looking at how to increase funding and at newer forms of financing to meet the needs of refugees.

“It’s no longer the case when big disasters happen that you have international funding coming into the country,” he told the forum organised by Asia Pacific Alliance for Disaster Management and Consortium of Humanitarian Agencies in collaboration with Asian Disaster Reduction and response Network.

“We’re being increasingly selective about how we respond – that’s the nature of the world we are entering.”





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