SAARC Development Fund (SDF) will be launching a social enterprise development programme to fund 80 entities annually across eight-member states, including India.
SDF was established by the heads of the eight SAARC member states in April 2010 and its governing council comprises finance ministers of these eight countries. SDF is in the process of launching the SEDP as part of its social window.
SDF has already committed $73.74 million for social window projects as of date out of which it has disbursed $47 million to the member states. SDF is currently implementing 12 regional projects with more than 70 implementing and lead implementing agencies covering all the member countries under the social window funding. Stating that MSMEs are an important constituent of any economy, the SDF will soon come out with a programme to provide a line of credit to the sector across the member states. SDF would create access to financial services which can in turn boost job creation, raise income, and reduce vulnerability and increase investments in human capital in – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. SDF recently gave in-principle approval to two infrastructure projects in the energy sector. These include waste to energy project in Sri Lanka with the participation of India and hydropower project in Nepal with the participation of Bangladesh and India. The total loan commitment would be $30 million. The fund is organizing a two-day SDF partnership conclave in New Delhi from July 2. NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant would deliver the keynote address.