With an aim to access to finance in Afghanistan, the World Bank approved today a US$50 million grant, through International Development Association (IDA) to support the government’s efforts to improve access to credit for micro, small and medium enterprises in Afghanistan.
The Afghanistan Access to Finance Project will be implemented through the Microfinance Investment Support Facility for Afghanistan (MISFA) and the Afghanistan Credit Guarantee Facility.
The project aims to graduate over 3,500 households out of extreme poverty by 2018, with MISFA’s partner microfinance institutions that would count over 100,000 borrowers.
The project would also provide guarantee coverage to over 1,500 loans to small and medium enterprises.
“US$32 million will provide continuing support to the microfinance sector through MISFA and to the scale up of the Targeting the Ultra Poor program which provides technical and financial support to poorest households to help them graduate out of extreme poverty,” the World Bank said in a statement.
The statement also added, “The rest of the grant, US$18 million, will support the expansion of the Afghanistan Credit Guarantee Facility which provides partial risk guarantees to loans issued by commercial banks and microfinance institutions to small and medium enterprises.”
Robert Saum, World Bank Country Director for Afghanistan said, “The new project aims to increase access to financial services for micro, small and medium enterprises, which will in turn help these enterprises grow and stimulate jobs creation.”
He also added, “Afghan enterprises are labor intensive and have the potential to absorb part of the growing Afghan labor force.”