SFD Offers SR75m Loan to Eritrea

M. Ghazanfar Ali Khan, Arab News
Publication Date: 
Fri, 2005-03-04 03:00

RIYADH, 4 March 2005 — Saudi Arabia has extended a loan facility of SR75 million to Eritrea and has also signed a new financing agreement under which Saudi-made television sets will be exported to Sudan for the first time. The loan and export financing facilities approved by the SFD reaffirm Kingdom’s commitment to extend aid and loans to African countries in particular.

On behalf of the Kingdom, Saudi Fund for Development has approved the loan for Eritrea to help finance a project of supplying drinking water to the city of Keren. The move to offer loan facility to Asmara is significant keeping in view the fact that Eritrea, located in the impoverished region of the Horn of Africa, has to build and develop its infrastructural facilities, which will eventually help boost its economy.

Referring to the loan facility, a SFD statement said that Nasser Al-Rushidan, Saudi ambassador to Eritrea, has handed over the SFD’s loan documents to Eritrean Minister of National Development Wolday Futur recently. This is in addition to the recent the SR67.5 million loan facility also granted by SFD for Azerbaijan.

“The SFD-Azeri loan agreement, again for an infrastructure project, will be signed shortly and the funds will be used for boosting potable water and power supplies in that country,” said Naghi Jaabbarov, an Azeri diplomat, here.

Jaabbarov pointed out that the terms and conditions of the credit facility extended by SFD are easy with 20-year repayment period besides a five-year grace period. In another deal, the SFD signed financing agreement with Saudi Arabian Television Mfg. Co. Ltd; for financing the export of Saudi-manufactured TV sets to Sudan. The agreement was signed on behalf of SFD by Youssef Al-Bassam, SFD’s vice chairman and managing director.

On behalf of the company, the agreement was signed by Ghazi Saleh Shalhoub, company’s president. The SFD, since its inception in 1974, has made great strides in the area of international development cooperation and has keen desire to help African nations. The Fund has contributed to the financing of 330 projects in 63 countries, consisting of 15 Arab countries, 30 African countries, 13 Asian countries, and five European and Latin American countries.

More than 62 countries had been benefited by SFD, which had financed 298 major projects besides a large number of small projects. Africa accounted for 46 percent of the total projects. The terms and conditions under which SFD provides aid or loans have been easy and simple.

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