Jambi Governor Zumi Zola witnessed Zainulbahar Noor and Francine Pickup signing a cooperation on the development of microhydro power plants and renewable energy. Photo: dok Baznas 

The National Board of Zakat (BAZNAS) agreed to give the contribution to support the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Indonesia. The contribution of zakat distribution amounting to USD 350,000 by BAZNAS is to support the United Nations Development Program in the Market Transformation through Design and Implementation of Appropriate Mitigation Actions in the Energy Sector (MTRE3) which is the Utilization of Renewable Energy Program that can support poverty alleviation and community welfare through increased access to energy.

This program is led by Ir. Rida Mulyana, MSc., Director General of Conservation of Renewable Energy and Energy under the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM). The first contribution is to support the development of micro hydro power plants in Jambi province.

The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources welcomes BAZNAS's contribution. According to the Ministry, about 30 million Indonesians - or 12 percent of the population - do not have access to adequate electricity.

"The contribution of BAZNAS marks an important step in the disbursement of zakat funds to achieve SDGs for the first time anywhere in the world. The global development agenda of 2030 is an ambitious plan to eradicate extreme poverty, and zakat has immense untapped potential to make a meaningful contribution in ensuring that no women, men or children are left behind, "said Francine Pickup, deputy director of UNDP Indonesia.

She added that a lack of access to electricity would keep people from improving their living standards and a major obstacle to reducing poverty in Indonesia. About 28 million people live below the national poverty line.

"The Islamic principles support socially inclusive development processes. This contribution is part of our vision to have a greater impact on development in Indonesia that will benefit the poorest and most disadvantaged people in the country," BAZNAS Deputy Chairman Zainulbahar Noor said.

The UNDP MTR3 project operates in Riau and Jambi provinces, as well as in the provinces of West Sulawesi and East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), where the percentage of households lacking access to electricity remains high. The project aims to develop and improve access to alternative energy, especially in rural areas facing high poverty. Funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the five-year project aims to support the design and implementation of climate change mitigation in the energy and energy generation sector. It supports the Government of Indonesia to achieve its 29 percent emission reduction target on a business-as-usual scenario by 2030. (Source: http://berita.suaramerdeka.com/ | Transl: amelya/puskasbaznas.com)