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Financial Institutions’ Transformational Role in Accelerating GCC Food Security and Climate Goals Identified in New Report by KPMG, FAB and ITFC

With the global population set to reach 9.8 billion by 2050, communities and ecosystems are facing enormous resource challenges. A recent report by KPMG Lower Gulf (, First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) (, and the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) (, titled Harvesting Resilience, Leveraging Finance for Food Security and Climate Resilience (, shows how the financial sector is a critical catalyst for change, with potential to shape a sustainable and resilient future.

The report analyses how banks, investors, regulators, and multilateral institutions can effectively collaborate to achieve global climate and food security objectives. It also highlights supporting technologies that are preserving food system integrity and proposes actionable recommendations for financial institutions to actively contribute to a sustainable future.

Food security is a critical goal for the GCC. In the UAE, the Food Security Strategy 2051 aims to position the country as one of the most food-secure in the world through initiatives that ensure the longevity of food systems through climate mitigation and adaptation. Here, sustainable finance presents promising opportunities for GCC banks to drive innovation and invest in sectors crucial for sustainable economic growth.

Islamic Finance, which also embeds sharia’ exclusionary criteria that could be similar to sustainable finance negative screening, offers also opportunities to de-risk sustainable investments. There is an opportunity for Islamic Finance to play an even more important role in the sustainable transformation of the agricultural value chain and make a substantial contribution to food security objectives.

Fadi Al Shihabi, Partner and ESG Services Leader at KPMG Lower Gulf said: “This collaborative report shows how targeted sustainable finance instruments can unlock the widespread adoption of state-of-the-art agricultural technologies, innovative value chain processes, and eco-inclusive farming methodologies across value chains.

Shargiil Bashir, Chief Sustainability Officer at First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), said: “Climate change has a direct and significant impact on global food security, presenting the world with a formidable challenge that must be addressed immediately. To overcome this, we require the full might of the financial industry where targeted financing must be deployed for ambitious food security projects as well as for investment in innovative technology. As a regional pacesetter bank in climate action, FAB stands ready to play its part through collaboration that will build resilience and stability within the global food system.”

Mohammad Hafiz Emrith, General Manager, Strategy&Organizational Performance, ITFC spokesperson said: “Our contribution to this thought leadership report is a result of our outlook in further fostering sustainable practices across the agriculture value chain, through our trade solutions whether capacity building initiatives, or Islamic Finance offerings. By leveraging on partnerships, we will promote upskilling on sustainable practices to contribute to the resilience of our member countries in the face of Climate Change. In the GCC, where transitioning to a low-carbon economy is a top priority, innovation in financial instruments, including launching new agri-financing financing lines, increasing the level of green bonds and sustainable financing lines for agri-sector clients, and prioritizing long-term sustainable financing solutions that promote emissions reductions, can improve the sustainability footprint of clients across the agriculture value chain.

Many state-of-the-art technologies, such as vertical farming and precision agriculture demand substantial upfront capital, presenting obstacles to widespread adoption. However, targeted investments channelled through financial institutions and reinforced by public private partnerships can accelerate scalability. Moreover, financial institutions provide invaluable technical acumen and risk mitigation tools, which can bolster the long-term sustainability of the food system and nurture climate-resilient agriculture.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC).

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Website: ITFC

About the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC):
The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) is a member of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group. It was established with the primary objective of advancing trade among OIC member countries, which would ultimately contribute to the overarching goal of improving the socioeconomic conditions of people across the world. Commencing operations in January 2008, ITFC has provided more than US$70 billion of financing to OIC member countries, making it the leading provider of trade solutions for these member countries’ needs. With a mission to become a catalyst for trade development for OIC member countries and beyond, the Corporation helps entities in member countries gain better access to trade finance and provides them with the necessary trade-related capacity-building tools, which would enable them to successfully compete in the global market.

About KPMG:
KPMG is a global organization of independent professional services firms providing Audit, Tax and Advisory services. KPMG is the brand under which the member firms of KPMG International Limited (“KPMG International”) operate and provide professional services. “KPMG” is used to refer to individual member firms within the KPMG organization or to one or more member firms collectively.

KPMG firms operate in 145 countries and territories with more than 236,000 partners and employees working in member firms around the world. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such. Each KPMG member firm is responsible for its own obligations and liabilities.

KPMG International Limited is a private English company limited by guarantee. KPMG International Limited and its related entities do not provide services to clients.

For more detail about our structure, please visit home.KPMG/governance.

About First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB):
Headquartered in Abu Dhabi with a strategic global footprint across 20 markets, FAB is the finance and trade gateway to the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA). With total assets of AED 1.2 trillion (USD 323 billion) as of September-end 2023, FAB is among the top 50 banks globally by market capitalisation and one of the world’s largest banking groups. The bank provides financial expertise to its wholesale and retail client franchise across four business units: Investment Banking, Corporate and Commercial Banking, Consumer Banking, and Global Private Banking. FAB is listed on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) and rated Aa3/AA-/AA- by Moody’s, S&P and Fitch, respectively, with a stable outlook. On sustainability, FAB holds an MSCI rating of ‘A’, also ranked among the top 10% of banks globally by Refinitiv’s ESG Scores and the best performer in the MENA region.  FAB is a strategic pathway partner of the 28th UN Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP28), which is being held in the UAE from November 30 to December 12, 2023.

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