The Arab Gulf Program for Development (AGFUND) called on Arab countries to set up more micro-financing institutions to help unemployed youth and poor people make a sustainable living. Nasser Al-Qahtani, AGFUND executive director, said microfinance banks would create income and jobs for the vast majority of Arab communities. He was speaking at a meeting of the “Arab Aid” group in Riyadh on Tuesday. “AGFUND creates jobs and helps deserving poor people. At the same time we maintain a sustainable business that covers our expenses in the long term,” he told Arab News.
The meeting was held in the presence of Inger Andersen, World Bank vice president for the Middle East and North Africa, and the heads of various Arab and international organizations. Addressing the event on behalf of Prince Talal bin Abdulaziz, AGFUND’s president, Al-Qahtani, said that the AGFUND program has established eight of these banks in various Arab countries including Jordan, Bahrain, Syria, Lebanon, Sudan and Palestine. In 2014, AGFUND plans to establish another three banks in the Philippines, Tunisia and Mauritania. He said AGFUND has strategic relations with various organizations to set up these banks.
It has provided a $224 million loan and invested $13 million in the venture. — Full Story at Zawya —