Islamic Development Bank To Provide $104M In Loans For Expansion Of African Millennium Villages

“The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) is to provide $104 million (£67.3 million) in loans to African governments to fund an expansion of Millennium Villages, the controversial project led by Jeffrey Sachs, director of Columbia University’s Earth Institute,” The Guardian reports. “About $40 million of the money will go towards a flagship Sustainable Villages Program (SVP) in Chad, Mozambique, and Sudan,” the newspaper writes, adding, “In addition, $29 million will support the extension of existing Millennium Village Projects (MVPs) in Mali, Senegal and Uganda, while $35 million will be used for a drylands initiative in Djibouti, Somalia and Uganda” (Tran, 8/113). “The $104 million will be provided in the form of Islamic finance (long-term repayments at zero interest rates) to the recipient countries, except in the case of a grant provided to Somalia,” RYOT notes, adding, “In each of these projects, host governments will partner with the IsDB, the Earth Institute and Millennium Promise to carry out the projects,” while “[t]he Earth Institute, led by its Millennium Development Goals Centers in East and West Africa, and Millennium Promise, will provide technical, operational and scientific guidance to the nations involved in the new initiative” (8/13). The Guardian examines the Millennium Village Project in greater detail and notes “questions have been raised about the project’s approach and the evaluation of its impact” (8/13).