According to the recent Global Report on Food Crises, which is annually produced by 16 global and multi-lateral partner organizations, 135 million acutely food-insecure people are in critical crisis and 17 million are acutely malnourished children under 5 years across 55 countries with around 50% of the 10 worse countries being from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). The current global recession with the ongoing impact of COVID-19 will continue to majorly disrupt food supply chains in the OIC countries as it will severely impact on health and nutrition as well as food availability and access.
Developing competitive agro-industries is crucial for generating employment and income opportunities in the OIC Member States of the Islamic Organisation for Food Security (IOFS), considering that more than 52% of the OIC population live in rural areas and depend on agriculture. Potentially, agro-industrialization presents valuable opportunities and benefits for OIC countries in terms of overall processes of industri- alization and economic development, export perfor- mance, water resource management, food safety and quality.
We have a very clear vision at International IFPA and that is to be recognized as the preferred champion and enabler of private-sector led trade and investment for sustainable development of food security in IOFS/OIC Member States while our mission is to facilitate private-sector led trade and investment between agri-food ecosystem players across the value chain by Halal and Shariah-compliant tools. We strongly believe that our strategic approach to achieving this lofty vision and mission is by putting into action our critical analysis of the agri-food value-chain of the top OIC domiciled industry and ecosystem players with the support of our strategic partners and we aim to continuously benchmark against global standards across the value-chain for competitive advantage. We will strive to translate the IOFS mandate through our unique B2B platform to enable ethical, innovative and sustainable private sector engagement vis-à-vis intra-OIC trade.
International IFPA will bring together all food associations, unions, chambers, Islamic financial institutions, tech companies and other relevant entities for direct engagement between all ecosystem players in the OIC/IOFS Member States. We hope to build on all strategically important agreements signed between IOFS and key OIC institutions and regional/national bodies such as the Islamic Development Bank Group (IsDB, ICD, ITFC and ICIEC) which included the development of International IFPA by means of arranging Islamic financing, investment and Takaful insurance for suitable agri-projects and trade deals of our members. With the combined network, infrastructure and resources of our strategic partners, we hope to enable the growth of the OIC food industry by supporting the development of a thriving value-added food market in the IOFS/OIC countries and thus creating favorable conditions for expanding mutual intra-OIC trade, attracting Islamic finance/ investment and increasing exports and imports in sustainable, ethical and innovative manner.
Finally, we intend to organize annual summits and other periodic events along with IOFS and other key OIC institutions where we hope to showcase the launch of our industry reports and bring together major OIC thought leaders and champions in all the related sectors.
We also plan to open other regional offices in geo-strategic locations in key OIC/IOFS Member States and through all these efforts we sincerely look forward to working very closely with everyone for a better future Insha Allah.
H.E. SHEIKH BILAL KHAN
DIRECTOR GENERAL & CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, INTERNATIONAL IFPA