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Jakarta Post

Islamic finance, a big chance to back SDGs

PREMIUM
Jakarta   /   Wed, August 23, 2017   /  08:18 am
Islamic finance, a big chance to back SDGs Muslims pay zakat fitrah alms at Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta on Friday. During Ramadhan, Muslims are obliged to pay the special alms that will be distributed to those in need. (JP/Seto Wardhana)

Last month marked a milestone in how Islamic finance can contribute to address inequality and eradicate poverty in Indonesia. When the National Alms Agency (BAZNAS) agreed to support the widening of electricity access to the poor in Jambi province in July, it marked the first official disbursement of the Islamic zakat fund to support the sustainable development goals (SDGs). The agreement sees Baznas disbursing US$350,000 to the project of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to deliver renewable energy to poor rural communities through the development of two micro hydro power plants. Some 30 million Indonesians — or 12 percent of the total population — lack sufficient access to electricity, a major constraint to achieving the SDGs in Indonesia. This agreement is a breakthrough and it should set a precedent in how Islamic finance can play a greater role in c...

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