The Arab Gulf Programme for Development (AGFUND) together with the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) to hold an international symposium entitled “Role of Donating Bodies in Meeting the Basic Needs of the Poor – Education, Health, Energy, Housing and Agriculture via the Mechanism of Micro-finance”. This symposium is scheduled to be held at OFID’s main headquarters in the Austrian capital “Vienna”, on 5 – 6 June 2012. The main objectives of this symposium revolve around introducing the effective key role played by the micro-finance in fulfilling the basic needs of a wide category of the poor in our developing societies. The workshop shows the beneficial outcomes resultant from connecting the provision of financial services in the micro-finance industry with the non-financial services in the sectors of health, education, energy, agriculture and housing. In this symposium, HRH Prince Talal Bin Abdul Aziz, President of AGFUND, shall be delivering a speech, where he reviews AGFUND’s vision regarding the deployment of microfinance in curbing poverty, in addition to the positive outcomes of AGFUND’s project – one which is related to the foundation of banks for the poor in the entire region. Likewise, the symposium shall also witness the presentation of some models of the internationally successful experiences in the application of micro-finance. It is definitely worth mentioning that the most significant challenges that face the industry of microfinance and hinder its growth is the huge financing gap between the demand for and supply of micro-finance services. In the same manner, it also reduces the expansion and wide-spreading of the current organizations aiming to provide services to the poor in an effective manner. In its attempt to narrow this financing gap, AGFUND has taken the initiative of launching a fund that provides “financial facilities” to the micro-finance banks which it has established in a number of Arab and African countries, as well as other micro-finance institutions in the Arab region. The (AGFUND – OFID) initiative – represented in the international symposium – shall definitely encourage the donating bodies and financing institutions to open new windows for supporting the microfinance institutions that currently work to reduce the poverty rate in the developing countries. It is expected that this symposium shall result in crystalizing new mechanisms for better comprehension of the micro-finance sector and its future, in addition to developing its role in curbing poverty and fighting unemployment. It is furthermore expected that a number of successful experiments and applications in the field of providing integrated micro-finance services, shall also be presented in this symposium. AGFUND and OFID shall certainly work to generalize these applications for the best possible benefit of the micro-finance institutions.
AGFUND and OFID propose a new approach of micro-finance in fighting the “Dual Poverty”
04 Jun 2012