- Oxford Business Group given details of international development efforts
Efforts to build cooperation with the international community through collaborative ventures which the Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD) is undertaking in developing countries was high on the agenda at a meeting held recently between its Director General, Khalifa bin Jassim Al Kuwari, and a team from Oxford Business Group (OBG).
The QFFD is responsible for overseeing Qatar’s international development and improving the livelihood of communities around the world through the distribution of the country’s foreign aid. Its remit includes empowering populations by promoting education, healthcare, and economic development; providing support to developing countries through a portfolio of financial instruments; and engaging in local and international partnerships to maximise benefits.
Al Kuwari gave the example of an agreement made recently with Qatar University to promote studies and research in developing countries around the world. Under the agreement, the QFFD will provide financial support for establishing scholarship programs, rolling out research infrastructure, and implementing joint projects of benefit to developing countries.
“This MoU aligns with QFFD’s efforts to achieve an integrated system of cooperation with institutions and organisations at the local and international level,” Al Kuwari said. “It also reflects our commitment to establishing effective partnerships and strategic cooperation with institutions to promote education and research in developing countries.”
He noted that following the adoption of the 2030 Development Agenda, the QFFD has focused its international development activities on 10 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that contribute to human development. Special focus has been placed on SDG 4 to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education”, SDG 3 to “ensure healthy lives”, and SDG 8 to “promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all”, while recognizing at the same time the intersectoral nature of these goals. Al Kuwari added that during the past years, QFFD has invested time and effort to build its internal capabilities and develop a large network of national and international partners, that will allow it to achieve SDGs in a more effective manner.
Al Kuwari expanded on the QFFD’s commitment to maintaining its development and humanitarian efforts abroad at the meeting.
Recent initiatives include a pledge of $15m to help support Rohingyan refugees, made at the Geneva donors’ conference in October. The QFFD also signed an agreement in November with the Somali government to develop $200m worth of projects in the fields of infrastructure, education, and economic empowerment.
Other initiatives include plans announced last month to expand the Qatar Creating Vision eye health project. Implemented in collaboration with international eye-care charity Orbis, the initiative has provided almost 2.4 million eye tests to children through school screenings in India and Bangladesh since 2016 and organised over 27,000 training sessions for doctors, teachers and health workers. It now aims to deliver 5.5 million eye tests and treatments to children across the two countries by mid 2020.
Commenting on the project, Al Kuwari said, “We are delighted that the initiative has reached so many. It complements other initiatives of Qatar, and opens the door to Qatari specialists and volunteers to contribute effectively to the prevention and treatment of eye blindness, and to addressing global health challenges.”
OBG’s representatives met Al Kuwari as the Group prepares to begin work on The Report: Qatar 2018, the global research and consultancy firm’s forthcoming publication on the country’s economy. Qatar’s efforts to diversify its economy were also a focal point at the meeting.
The Report: Qatar 2017 will be a vital guide to the many facets of the country, including its macroeconomics, infrastructure, banking and other sectoral developments. The publication will contain a detailed, sector-by-sector guide for investors, alongside contributions from leading personalities. The report will be available in print and online.