Poverty can easily be driven away through Islamic Microfinance
(Tunis) Half of global poverty reside in Muslim world while the Muslim population is 24% of the total global population, if the dangerously increasing poverty in the Muslim community is not controlled soon then it will be alarming. These concerns were addressed by Muhammad Zubair Mughal, Chief Executive Officer, AlHuda Centre of Islamic Banking and Economics while speaking at Islamic Microfinance Symposium that was held at Tunis – Tunisia which was organized by Tunis Association of Islamic Economics with association of Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and German Donor Agency GIZ.
He mentioned the various causes of rapidly increasing poverty in the Muslim world i.e. lack of education, lack of employment political instability and so on. But on the other hand, the main hitch is unavailability of the proper financial products which are in line with the Muslim’s religious values and social norms. Micro financing is not utilized by Muslim population due to interest and thus is excluded from financial inclusion. On the other hand, Muslim world can be led out of the poverty by extending financial inclusion through Islamic microfinance. He said that the according to the statistical information of multilateral development agencies, 300 million people were graduated from Micro to SME level in past year, and the countries mentioned in the list are China, India, Brazil and Chili etc. but when we look at the enlisted countries we will come to know that then countries mentioned in the list are not Muslim and by this we will come to know that the poverty is decreasing in non Muslim countries and increasing in Muslim world.
He further added that unfortunately, Islamic microfinance is not given the proper place in the poverty alleviation strategies of International development agencies (e.g World Bank, UNDP, IFC, USAID etc) in the way it should have been given. Islamic microfinance is just 1% of the total micro financing of the world that is just 1 Billion USD. He said that there is no religion of poverty but religion plays an important role in poverty alleviation. This is the reason; Islamic microfinance should be given a proper place in the modes of poverty alleviation through which both Muslims and non-Muslims can take benefit. He added that there are various non Muslim countries where Islamic micro fiancé has been used so effectively to alleviate poverty.
Experts from 15 countries including Morocco, Kenya, Yemen and Pakistan had taken part in the symposium. A mutual declaration about the legal frame work of Islamic microfinance was given at the end of the event.