Hizbullah-Affiliated Associations Establish $80 Million Loan Fund For Lebanese Industrial, Agricultural Sector

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October 9, 2020

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In a press conference they held on October 7, 2020, two associations affiliated with Hizbullah - Al-Qard Al-Hassan (AQAH) and Jihad Al-Binaa for Development - announced the establishment of the Al-Taysir Fund, providing loans to the Lebanese industrial and agricultural sector. This is part of the "construction and agricultural jihad" announced by Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah on July 7, 2020 in response to claims that his organization is responsible for Lebanon's dire economic situation, in part due to U.S. sanctions on Hizbullah.[1]

At the press conference, AQAH executive director 'Adel Mansour said that the fund would provide loans in both Lebanese Pound (LBP) and USD, adding up to 100 billion LBP (equivalent to $66M) as well as over $20M in order to help them create new jobs. He added that the association would monitor the profitability of each project and whether it had achieved its goal. The loans, he explained further, will be provided at the association's 31 branches across the country, and applicants will be required to provide guarantees in gold or by a guarantor who has an account with the association. Loans given in LBP will have to be paid back in the same currency, and the same for loans given in dollars. He specified that the loans are interest-free, but "some taxes will have to be paid."[2]


AQAH executive director 'Adel Mansour

AQAH was established in 1982. Its website states that it provides small interest-free loans with convenient terms. According to a 2014 report, the association had given out 123,696 loans valued at over $276M.[3] The association's Facebook page states that in 2018, it gave out 197,000 loans valued at $476M.[4]


Graphic showing the number of loans given in 2018

The organization is suspected of being a cover for Hizbullah's financial operations, and was designated as a terrorist organization by the U.S. Treasury in July 2007.[5] In a Hizbullah donation drive in 2019, donors were invited to deposit funds into an AQAH account, among other options.[6]

The other association involved in the establishment of the fund, Jihad Al-Binaa, is a Hizbullah-owned construction company which has been on the U.S. terrorist list since 2007. According to the U.S. Treasury, it is funded directly by Iran and is subordinate to Hizbullah's Shura Council, headed by the organization's secretary-general Hassan Nasrallah.[7]

 


[1] Almanar.com.lb, July 7, 2020.

[2] Facebook.com/Jam'iyat Mu'assasat Al-Qard Al-Hassan.

[3] Qardhasan.org, accessed May 2, 2019.

[4] Facebook.com/Jam'iyat Mu'assasat Al-Qard Al-Hassan, accessed October 8, 2020.

[5] Treasury.gov, July 24, 2007. 

[7] Treasury.gov, February 20, 2007.

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