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Gulf countries launch $2.5bn fund to tackle poverty

The Lives and Livelihoods Fund to combat poverty and infectious diseases in the Muslim world was launched in Saudi Arabia today.

The fund, which has starting capital of $2.5 billion, was set up in cooperation with the Islamic Development Bank, the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development, Qatar and the UAE.

The fund is the largest of its kind in the Middle East, it said in a statement, and it was officially launched today in the first meeting of its Executive Board in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

According to a statement of the Fund distributed to journalists in Dubai, Anatolia and got a copy of it, the new fund is the largest of its kind in the Middle East development initiative, was officially launched today at the first meeting of its Executive Board in the Saudi city of Jeddah.

The statement added: "It is expected that the fund's capital will help finance projects which benefit the poorest communities in 30 Muslim countries over the next five year, thereby contributing to raising the quality and productivity of people's lives."

The fund will be managed by the Islamic Development Bank with $2 billion of its capital and $500 million in the form of grants from a number of donors, the statement said.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has contributed $100 million to the fund. On its website it said: "Tthe Lives and Livelihoods Fund is providing the stepping stones for prosperity and self-reliance."

The Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development and the King Salman Centre each donated up to $100 million, the Qatar Fund for Development and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development each donated $50 million.

Middle EastNewsQatarSaudi ArabiaUAE
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