RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Social Development Bank (SDB) has implemented a number of social funding initiatives during the coronavirus pandemic, with over 54,000 people benefiting from its programs.
The initiatives include deferment of instalments for productive families and expanding the social funding available to those struggling due to the financial impact of the pandemic.
Since its inception in 1971, the bank has awarded total funding of SR120 billion ($32 billion), benefiting 2.7 million citizens and supporting 180,000 projects.
For the first time since its establishment, the SDB said the amount of money injected into productive financing projects exceeded its social funding initiatives.
This year, out of the SR10 billion ($2.66 billion) funding budget available to it, SR9 billion has been allocated so far, of which SR5 billion was distributed in the form of productive loans to small businesses and entrepreneurs and SR4 billion was awarded to its social funding initiatives.
Ahmad Suliman Al-Rajhi — minister of human resources and social development, and chairman of SDB’s board of directors — thanked King Salman and the crown prince for their “continuous support.”
SDB CEO Ibrahim Al-Rashid told Arab News that the bank’s strategy of supporting entrepreneurship and small projects and providing social loans is in line with Vision 2030.
The bank’s social funding consists of loans for low-income families, marriage and home restoration.
Its productive financing ranges from business incubation, accelerators and project finance to startup seed capital and support for local inventors.