(MENAFN - Arab Times) Around 56 percent of Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development's (KFAED) aid are directed to the Arab countries, Director General Abdulwahhab Al-Bader said Monday. The Arab countries occupy the largest share of KFAED's financial assistance despite extension of operations of the fund to include African and Asian countries, Al-Bader said in a statement to reporters who were in Kuwait to cover activities of the Arab summit. He said the fund sought to continue its assistance to development projects in the Arab and developing countries. KFAED, which was established in the wake of Kuwait's independence in 1961, aims at helping Arab countries develop their economies by offering easy loans for development projects, said Al-Bader.
He noted that the fund extended around 850 loans for around 104 countries around the world. Kuwaitis are well known for helping the others, he noted, and this work was organized in an institutionalized manner by the establishment of KFAED. Al-Bader said there were countries benefitting from loans with interest rates ranging from 0.5 to two percent, depending on the nature of the project, economic condition of the country and execution period of the venture. KFAED, he added, was also helping Arab and regional development organizations. The fund, noted Al-Bader, has been concentrating on infrastructure and social projects since 2000. He said KFAED started paying additional attention to agriculture project since the start of the global food crisis in 2007
Al-Bader said KFAED resumed operations following a limited halt caused by the August 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. The fund was operating from its London office and continued provision of funds that were approved before the invasion. KFAED is keen on coordination with Arab and international development funds, like OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID). Al-Bader said countries that fail to pay the instalment for 45 days would not get new funding. Domestically, Al-Bader said KFAED financed Kuwait Credit Bank's bonds with 500 million dinars. He said the fund was allocating 25 percent of its annual net profits for the Public Authority for Housing Welfare, as well as training fresh graduating engineers. Al-Bader said KFAED was financing projects in Yemen and would build five schools in Palestine. The fund was financing different types of projects in 40 African countries