UAE fund to provide $200 mln in loans to microfinance projects in Egypt

Reuters, Monday 24 Nov 2014

A United Arab Emirates state investment fund announced on Monday it would provide $200 million in loans for microfinance projects in Egypt, a move it said would create more than 120,000 jobs by 2020.
Abu Dhabi-based Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development said it signed the loan agreement with the Egyptian government in Cairo.
The UAE and other Gulf Arab states have emerged as major donors for Egypt since the armyousted Egypt's first freely elected president, the Islamist Mohamed Mursi, during mass protests against his rule in 2013.
Khalifa Fund's chairman, Hussain al Nowais, said some 100,000 projects and more than 120,000 job opportunities are likely to be created by 2020 through the funding.
"The loan will be directed towards microfinance development in remote and disadvantaged areas and pockets of poverty throughout Egypt," he said in a statement, adding that it would also help Egyptian women in rural areas find work.
Khalifa Fund was set up by the Abu Dhabi government in 2007 and finances small and medium-sized enterprises.
Egypt, which is struggling with double-digit unemployment, issued its first law regulating microfinance services last week, seeing the provision of extremely small loans could help to create jobs by giving individual entrepreneurs a start.
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