AGFUND Participates in the Philippines Microcredit Summit and Introduces its Experience with “Establishing Banks For The Poor”
Nasser Alkahtani … more than one million beneficiaries out of Prince Talal’s Initiative
The Executive Director of the Arab Gulf Programme for Development (AGFUND), Mr. Nasser Bakr Alkahtani, had highlighted that the initiative of Prince Talal Bin Abdulaziz, AGFUND’s President, which mainly aims to fighting poverty in the region and establishing banks for the poor, is steadily advancing and is additionally expanding horizontally via the establishment of further more banks and vertically by promoting the performance of the current banks. He also stressed that the target beneficiary segments are increasing and that according to the latest statistics they have actually reached more than one million and three hundred thousand beneficiaries.
On the occasion of AGFUND’s participation in the conference of the microfinance summit campaign, to be held during the period from 9 to 11 October under the theme of “Partnerships against Poverty”, Alkahtani explained that AGFUND’s participating team in the summit hold amazing success stories about their project which adopted the social works principle, within the framework of Prince Talal’s initiative. During this summit, Alkahtani shall also present a paper and it shall be addressing AGFUND’s experience in fighting poverty and establishing the microfinance banks in so far 8 countries, namely: Jordan, Yemen, Bahrain, Syria, Sierra Leon, Lebanon, Sudan and Palestine.
As part of AGFUND’s quests and efforts to expand the scope of introducing the initiative of HH Prince Talal and its return on the target segments, AGFUND shall be organizing a seminar on the margin of the Philippines summit. The seminar shall be addressing the procedures and mechanisms for establishing banks for the poor as well as the steps required for “establishing a microfinance bank in 6 months” as of the completion of all requirements.
In this regard, Alkahtani stressed that AGFUND is steadily proceeding in implementing its strategy for fighting poverty through adopting two main approaches. The first approach is “Vertical” and is represented in supporting the success ingredients in the microfinance institute banks which AGFUND had established. The second one is “Horizontal” and is embodied in establishing banks in countries that are perfectly convinced of the feasibility of microfinance and are ready to cope with AGFUND requirements and also willing to improve their legislative structure for the interest of this effective development mechanism.
AGFUND team to the summit is scheduled to meet the Filipinos businessmen in a step that paves the way for launching a bank for the poor in Manila. In this regard, it is expected that Prince Talal shall inaugurate this bank during his anticipated visit to the Philippines by the start of 2014.
The current summit to be hosted by the Philippines is the 16th microcredit summit to be organized worldwide since 1997 under the leadership of the “Microcredit campaign” based in New York. It’s noteworthy that AGFUND is one of the major supporters of the microcredit campaign and Philippines summit as well.
In 2004 AGFUND collaborated with the microcredit campaign in holding the microcredit regional conference in the Middle East and North Africa specifically in Amman, Jordan. The conference was open by Prince Talal Bin Abdulaziz and it was in fact, the most successful conferences specialized in microcredit on the level of Arab countries with the presence of even more than 800 participants.
More than 1000 experts and participants from all over the world shall be participating in the Philippines summit works. The most successful and sophisticated modals of partnerships between the private and public sector in the field of microcredit shall be presented during the summit. According to the current rate of progress, it appears that about one milliard people shall remain in abject poverty by 2015 and that nowadays there are approximately 2.6 milliard people worldwide who can’t access the official financial services.
It’s definitely worth mentioning that Prince Talal Bin Abdulaziz, AGFUND President, had previously received in Riyadh, the Executive Director of the microcredit summit campaign, Mr. Lari Red, who indeed highly spoke of HH’s initiative represented in establishing banks for the poor in the entire region and described it by being one of the featuring marks in fighting poverty in the Middle East Region and North Africa”. He also thanked HH Prince Talal for his continuous support to the microcredit campaign via the summits that it organizes all over the world.