Arab countries can alleviate poverty through Islamic microfinance
(Amman – Jordan) Poverty is increasing rapidly in the Arab countries which are blessed with surplus of mineral and oil resources, one of the reasons is absence of financial products for poverty alleviation which are compatible with their religious, cultural and social values and beliefs While through Islamic microfinance poverty can be controlled over and poor can be brought into the financial inclusion in Arab countries. These views expressed by Muhammad Zubair Mughal, Chief Executive Officer – AlHuda Centre of Islamic Banking and Economics (CIBE) in an international workshop on Islamic Microfinance jointly organized by AlHuda CIBE and Arab Student Aid International in Amman – Jordan.
To discuss the current status of poverty in Arab World, he said that poverty is increasing rapidly in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Egypt, Yemen and Tunisia as the consequence of Arab Springs while poverty already exists in Sudan, Somalia and other Arab countries which can be addressed effectively through Islamic Microfinance as it quite suited to their religious beliefs. He, presenting the poverty index in Arab countries, evidenced the substantial existence of poverty in Arab countries including Iraq by 23%, Iran 18%, Yemen 35.8%, Jordan 13.5% and Lebanon 28% etc.
He said that if we look into the geographical location of Jordan it seems to be surrounded by the conflict zones including the neighboring countries like Syria, Iraq, Palestine and Lebanon. While Micro enterprise development, educational development, refugees issues and job creation can be enhanced quickly through Jordan taking as regional hub for Islamic microfinance.
Addressing to the event, Ameera Yaaqbeh Hilal, Executive Director – Arab Student Aid International, said that Islamic microfinance is the critical need of time through which poverty can be alleviated from society by providing Shariah compliant loans to the students and enhancing their vocational capabilities. She also announced to establish the first Islamic microfinance institution in Jordan by utilizing AlHuda CIBE expertise and technical assistance.