Sultan Nazrin: Islamic Social Finance can address shortages in global humanitarian aid

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 24 May 2016

PETALING JAYA: Social and faith-based financing is one of the ways to address global shortages in humanitarian aid, says Perak Ruler Sultan Nazrin Shah (pic).

He said that this type of financing, such as Islamic Social Finance, can add to the funds needed to aid countries made vulnerable by conflicts and poverty.

“We are all too aware that the gap in humanitarian funding is an alarming and growing one. 

“The United Nations still fell short of US$7.5bil last year,” he said in his opening address at the special session on Islamic Social Finance at the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Turkey on Monday.

He added that in today’s US$78tril global economy “it is unacceptable that anybody should die or live without dignity because we (the global community) cannot find the resources required to help people in need”.

He pointed out the importance of Islamic Social Finance mechanisms, which Muslims donate to annually as a way to help those in need.

“We need to recognise the crucial difference that these emerging donors can make to humanitarian financing, and we believe in the importance of expanding their numbers while at the same time protecting the fundamental principles of humanitarian aid and good governance,” he said.

Sultan Nazrin added that helping in humanitarian aid is not only morally correct, but was also an investment that everyone can make for global stability.

“Our different faiths teach us the importance of compassion and of one common shared humanity. 

“Even the current work of secular humanitarian organisations is often inspired by the ethos of religion and spirituality, which in turn has inspired a culture of sustainable development,” he said.

He noted that it was important that the world find innovative methods to finance humanitarian aid.

“If we aim to build resilience for equitable growth and achieve the aspirations of Agenda 2030 in the Sustainable Development Goals, then better approaches are needed to support those who have been truly left behind, caught in continual crises and recurrent disasters.

“Failure to find new solutions to build resilience – not only for countries and people in crisis, but also for those like Turkey here who bear the burden of hosting the displaced – would bring regression, not development,” he said.

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