It empowers these states to apply for financial support for projects aligned with IORA's priority areas and the guiding principles outlined in the organisation's Charter.

The Special Fund aims to achieve three key objectives:

  • Economic Cooperation and Connectivity

    To facilitate and promote economic cooperation activities among Member States. This includes fostering collaboration between government entities, businesses, and academic institutions, aligning with the broader objectives laid out in the IORA Charter.

  • Knowledge Sharing and Capacity Building

    To support intellectual exchanges, studies, and research initiatives that contribute to the advancement of economic cooperation within the region. This encompasses projects related to academia, research, entrepreneurship, and intellectual pursuits.

  • Enhanced Implementation

    To play a crucial role in capacity building at both national and regional levels. This includes providing support for implementing projects, programmes, and activities that contribute to achieving IORA's objectives as outlined in the Charter.


The concept of the IORA Special Fund was first explored in 2001 during the IORA Council of Ministers' Meeting in Muscat, Oman. A High-Level Task Force (HLTF) was established to assess the feasibility and potential of creating a dedicated funding mechanism for project implementation. Following extensive discussions and recommendations, the Council of Ministers approved the establishment of the Special Fund in 2004 during their meeting in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The official launch and initial operational framework were established two years later in 2006 at the Council of Ministers' meeting held in Tehran.

Applying for the Fund

Member States interested in applying for funding from the Special Fund can request application materials and information from the IORA Secretariat via email at Additionally, a comprehensive guidebook is available to offer detailed information on the application process, eligibility criteria, and project selection procedures. It is important to note that all applications require endorsement from the IORA National Focal Point designated by the respective Member State.

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