Amman - Under the patronage of Prime Minister, Omar Razzaz, the Social Security Investment Fund (SSIF) and United Nations Development Program in Jordan launched today a virtual conversations series under the theme Pension Funds: " Investing in Resilience" with the participation of many global and regional pension funds.
In his keynote address, Razzaz said that Covid19 pandemic has proved that the world should reaffirm its value and priorities where human beings and their welfare should come first. Prior to the current global crisis, Razzaz said that Jordan was among the first countries to target socio economic goals. Despite its limited resources and while hosting refugees that are still adding strain on the country's economy, Razzaz said that Jordan has considerable achievements in the areas of poverty eradication, healthcare, primary education, environmental sustainability and social security protection.
Referring to His Majesty King Abdullah II address to the UN general assembly meeting last week, Razzaz said that everyone should acknowledge the power of working together and the need to renew the world integration to face the challenges ahead. PM also urged pension funds to seize the opportunity to transform into maximizing sustainable local and global welfare by unleashing human talent and creativity, protecting the most vulnerable, and creating systems of local and global solidarity.
SSIF CEO Kholoud Saqqaf said that hosting this event in partnership with the UNDP Jordan aims at providing a collaborative platform for exchanging ideas with international pension funds experts on how to address the imperatives facing the pension fund during these difficult times, and generating progress for inclusive growth, social advancement, and sustainable development.
Saqqaf also presented the Fund's experience in managing its various investments and its special interventions in response to the consequences of COVID 19 pandemic. "Our investment strategy for the years 2019 - 2021 has targeted sectors that have direct impact on people's lives in terms of fulfilling their basic needs and providing better services; infrastructure, agriculture, education, healthcare and pharmaceuticals".
SSIF works hand in hand with the private sector where our mutual feasible investments contribute significantly to boosting economic growth, job creation, reducing poverty and increasing social cohesion, Saqqaf said.
SSIF CEO pointed out that the Fund's well diversified portfolio has mitigated the negative impact of the unprecedented challenges that COVID-19 has on the economy .
Yet, SSIF has taken very early measures to provide the necessary liquidity to the Social Security Corporation (SSC) to introduce a number of new schemes that aim at enhancing job stability and private sector sustainability in response to the economic crisis triggered by the pandemic.
The Resident Representative of UNDP Jordan Sara Ferrer Olivella said that its now more than any time before we all need to be rethinking how capital can be deployed in ways that contribute to more inclusive economic growth. "This event is very timely following His Majesty King Abdullah II remarks at the World Economic Forum's Sustainable Development Impact Summit last week during which HM emphasized the importance of sustainable development as the path to more a more integrated, just and resilient world".
UNPD Resident Representative added that the worldwide disruption experienced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted that business as usual is no longer an option. Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals requires a step-change in the way capital is deployed to drive transformation towards more inclusive economic growth. The pandemic has made more evident the pressing need for investment practices that not only achieve financial returns, but that look to generate positive impact on society and the environment.
She concluded that with ten speakers from seven countries, there is a stellar lineup of speakers from global pension funds who are spearheading the sustainable investing movement. "We look forward to hearing from them and learning from this discussion so that we can collaborate with all our partners on the ground to work towards a more resilient Jordan".
This first of its kind event in the region is set to engage pension and investment funds from Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands, Norway, Canada and Kenya, policymakers, decision-makers and researchers Arab pension funds, and the public and private sector representatives from Jordan and other Arab States. Moreover, to drive active conversation, exchange experience and raise awareness on the significant impact of sustainable development, the economy and society, and also scale the efforts and direct more investments towards the emerging and developing economies.