The Arab Gulf Program for UN Development Organizations (AGFUND) said Monday an agreement has been signed to set up a "Bank for the Poor" in Yemen, with capital of $5.5 million.
An agreement was signed by Yemen's Social Affairs Minister Mohammad Abdullah al-Bitani and the Gulf organization’s president, Prince Talal bin Abdul Aziz, who visited Sanaa on Sunday.
AGFUND will provide up to two million dollars capital to the bank, the first of its kind to be set up in the Arab world. The Yemeni government will put up $2.5 million, with a further $1 million coming from the private sector, the Riyadh-based organization said in a statement.
Prince Talal expressed the hope that "the Bank of the Poor will achieve its objectives in Yemen, like in the 65 other countries which have adopted this system." This "banking system will allow the poor increasingly to become partners of the bank and shareholders," he said, adding that Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan had agreed to setting up similar banks.
Founded in 1981 at Prince Talal's initiative, AGFUND has helped finance 693 projects in 126 developing countries, 79 of them in Yemen. It provides grants for UN projects and coordinates aid from the oil-rich Gulf Arab states. – (AFP)
© Agence France Presse 2000
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