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UAE Fund activates $200 mln development loan agreement for Egypt

UAE Fund activates $200 mln development loan agreement for Egypt

Sharm El Sheikh: H.E. Hussain Jassim Al Nowais, Chairman of Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development announces the activation of the Loan Agreement signed by Khalifa Fund and the Egyptian Ministry of International Cooperation and the Egyptian Social Fund for Development last November for a value of USD 200 million to be invested in the development of the microfinance sector in the Arab Republic of Egypt, after meeting all requirements pertaining to legal procedures in the two Countries.

Al Nowais remarked on the sidelines of the Egypt Economic Development Conference (Egypt The Future), organized by the Egyptian Government in Sharm El Sheikh on Friday, that “This Agreement clearly indicates the extent of keenness of the leadership in the United Arab Emirates to enhance and deepen the channels of cooperation and mutual relationships with Egypt, confirming that the leadership attaches great importance to development projects that realize economic and social benefit to the Egyptian citizens”.

“Khalifa Fund will soon disburse loan payments in favor of the Egyptian Social Fund for Development, with the expectation that this organization will contribute to creating more than 200 thousand enterprises around the coming six years, and providing more than 200 thousand job opportunities for the Egyptian citizens”, said Al Nowais.

“The Loan aims at supporting the efforts of the Egyptian Government in combating poverty and unemployment, and promoting the role of women in development and their empowerment through availing opportunities to those having entrepreneurial attributes and skills to realize their ambition and to establish their own business that will contribute in enhancing their contribution to the national economy in the Arab Republic of Egypt”, explained Al Nowais.

H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State, who heads the UAE Egypt Task Force said: ““I would like to congratulate Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development and the Egyptian Ministry of International Cooperation for the activation of the Agreement. We have full confidence that this collaboration will contribute to enhancing the efforts that aim at creating job opportunities especially for women and youth. We look forward to heeding the tangible results from this agreement in the near future.”

Al Jaber emphasized the importance of leveraging the platform offered by the Egypt Economic Development Conference and the opportunities presented.” 

Al Nowais said that “The financing initiative aimed at providing support to the Microenterprises Sector in Egypt, through targeting the remote areas and the disadvantaged groups and the need to intensify efforts to promote comprehensive developmental efforts towards upgrading them economically and socially, and providing a safety net of continuum towards achieving the developmental benefits. Accordingly, this Agreement concentrates mainly on directing funding  towards the rural areas to finance up to 70 percent of the total funding directed to all the regions of the Republic”.

“The execution of the project will be based on directing the financing towards woman in a way to bring the enterprises directed towards females up to 25 percent out of the total enterprises expected to be financed through this agreement, while the remaining financing will be directed diversely between men and women”, said Al Nowais.

“This Loan will contribute to enhancing the social and economic stability of large segment groups of the Egyptian society, and it will also contribute to supporting the governmental efforts to reduce poverty and to enhance social welfare and to support the Egyptian citizen. The Loan is distinguished for its soft terms, where the tenure of the loan reaches 15 years, with six-year grace period”, added Al Nowais.

At the sideline of the conference, Al Nowais met with H.E. Suha Suleiman Secretary-General of the Egyptian Social Fund Development, where they discussed how to implement the project in the most efficient and effective ways to achieve the desired results. They also discussed aspects of cooperation through holding exhibitions to display Egyptian products supported by Social Fund for Development. Also to enhance the export activities for entrepreneurs in both countries.

They discussed organizing marketing and promotional campaigns to encourage Egyptians to benefit from the facilities to develop micro-finance enterprise in Egypt.

“The target of this agreement is to improve livelihoods and create job opportunities for the most in need especially women and youth. The agreement will provide estimated fund of one billion and five hundred million Egyptian pound during the coming six years, which will result in financing 200 microfinance enterprises in the government and semi-government sectors, that will lead to social stability which will improve the Egyptian economy”, said H.E. Suha Sulaiman the Secretary General of the Social Fund.

“The Social Fund targets are dedicated to 70% of the funds to the marginalized and rural areas in the poor parts of Egypt”, added Sulaiman.

The Social Fund for Development since its establishment injected 20 billion Egyptian pounds that supported 2 million small and microfinance enterprises, which lead to the creation of 3 million job opportunities. The SFD has pumped more than 12 billion pounds and lent to more one million and seven hundred entrepreneurs in different sectors.

“There will be contracts with more than 200 intermediaries for the implementation of the agreement throughout the duration of the project, about 50 thousand women and 60 thousand men below the age of 35, and 60% of the beneficiaries are under the poverty line”, explained Sulaiman.

United Arab Emirates has allocated financial and technical assistance to the Arab Republic of Egypt aimed at supporting government efforts towards enhancing social, economic and political stability, and contributing to the support of development programs to reduce poverty and unemployment, to enable them to get out of this critical stage in order to restore its leading and central role in the Arab world.

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