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Employment fund offering special rates for projects led by people with disabilities

By Dana Al Emam - Jul 11,2015 - Last updated at Jul 11,2015

AMMAN — The Development and Employment Fund (DEF) plans to reduce murabaha rates (an Islamic finance and investment instrument) on loans from 5 to 3 per cent for beneficiaries with disabilities. 

The DEF board’s recent decision seeks to encourage people with disabilities to benefit from the fund’s lending programmes for small projects, according to DEF Director General Abdullah Freij.

Based on a free-of-charge feasibility study, the fund determines the cost of projects and accordingly provides the needed soft loans, with an eight-year repayment period and a grace period of 12 months, provided that beneficiaries acquire payment guarantees, Freij said.

The targeted group’s projects are often in the commercial field, as many beneficiaries with disabilities take loans to open mobile phone services and accessories stores, as well as physiotherapy, training and education centres.

The loans also finance service projects and home-based enterprises, such as food production, handicrafts, embroidery and sewing, in addition to tourism-related projects, according to the DEF.

“The fund supports projects that are suitable for persons with disabilities where they are able to work and manage their businesses,” Freij said, highlighting that DEF-funded projects are major sources of income for beneficiaries and their families.

In a statement e-mailed to The Jordan Times, Freij noted that the decision, which is in line with the government’s directives to provide further support and services for persons with disabilities, seeks to deepen the culture of self-employment.

“Many beneficiaries with physical disabilities were able to prove their ability by entering the labour market through establishing small businesses and creating job-generating projects,” he added.

 

Freij said the fund will intensify its awareness campaigns in governorates and remote areas through several media outlets to encourage people with disabilities to benefit from its services at the new murabaha rates. 

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