Arab League Deputy Secretary General Ahmad ben Helli said Sunday 18 Arab countries have, up until last May, contributed to the Arab Fund for the Small and Medium-size Enterprizes (SMEs).
Pledges to the fund amounted to USD 1.310 billion, of them USD 973.5 million actually paid, ben Helli told a news conference.
He explained that a special committee handling the loans extended by the fund, approved 19 loans for 11 Arab countries with a value of USD 618 million.
The Arab Fund, he noted, is expected to contribute to creating 3.250 million jobs.
The fund was established upon an initiative by His Highness the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah during the Arab Social and Economic Development Summit that was held in Kuwait in 2009.