70 million Arabs live under the poverty line
The Arab world’s population stood at around 351 million at the end of 2010 and nearly 70 million of them live under the poverty line due to insufficient growth in the local economy, said a Saudi prince.
“Around 19.7 per cent of them, or nearly 70 million, live under the poverty line….about 35 million of those people are qualified for financial services (bank loans and other facilities) but only three million can get them.”
Prince Talal, the father of well-known Saudi billionaire Prince Al Waleed, estimated domestic personal demand for credit in the Arab region at $27 billion a year, but said only around $1.5-2 billion is utilized.
“What we need now is to introduce small sized loans to support the poor through special banks for the poor…these types of loans are now one of the most effective and successful solutions to tackle poverty,” he said.
The Gulf Development Fund adopted a project to create banks for the poor out of its unshakable conviction that small sized loans to the poor will drastically lessen poverty and increase the quality of life for lower social classes who can later on depend on themselves and contribute in developing their societies.
The Fund stresses that such loan programs have had positive impacts in other countries. (Source: www.yallafinance.com)