Sukuk for vaccine fund ushers Islamic finance into ethical sphere

Last week, an immunisation programme secured a $500 million (£319.4 million) issuance of sukuk, in the largest debut issue ever by a global non-profit organisation. The sukuk from the International Finance Facility for Immunisation Co (IFFIm), for which the World Bank acts as treasury manager, is part of a broader trend to use bond markets to fund development and humanitarian projects. IFFIm, backed by nine sovereign donors including Britain and France, will use the proceeds of its sukuk to finance projects for the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI). The sukuk could encourage other non-profits to consider this funding tool.