Islamic finance turns socially responsible

Last week an immunisation programme secured a $500 million issuance of sukuk, under a broader trend to use bond markets to fund development and humanitarian projects. The sukuk from the International Finance Facility for Immunisation Co (IFFIm), for which the World Bank acts as treasury manager, is a break from the predominantly commercial nature of most Islamic finance transactions. Future sukuk from IFFIm could help reinforce that change by financing other high-profile immunisation efforts, and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI) is actively in discussions over taking a role in fighting Ebola when a vaccine becomes available.