Publish dateThursday 4 April 2024 - 11:37
Story Code : 288316
Approval of the 16 million dollar aid of the World Bank to strengthen the financial sector of Afghan women
The World Bank has announced the approval of a $16 million grant from the Afghanistan Resilience Trust Fund (ARTF) to support small businesses and women-led businesses in Afghanistan.
Afghan Voice Agency (AVA) - International Service: On Wednesday, April 3rd, the World Bank announced that this project under the name (EMERGe) supports the project of empowering small capitals and companies for resilience and growth.

Based on World Bank information, through this project, which is provided to the Aga Khan Foundation of the United States, the loans of women-led small enterprises that have not been paid after August 2021 due to economic conditions will be settled and will help to revive the small financiers active in Afghanistan. it helps.

According to the World Bank, this project helps to increase the liquidity of small financiers so that they can provide new sources of finance for micro and small companies.

The bank's announcement states: "This project will also provide technical assistance to small financiers to strengthen the microfinance sector, digitize business processes, and train staff to prioritize lending to women and women-led businesses."

Melinda Goode, the World Bank's Country Director for Afghanistan, said that currently supporting micro-finance providers in Afghanistan is one of the few viable options to improve access to assets in Afghanistan, especially for women.

"The goal of this project is to strengthen the microfinance sector in Afghanistan so that small business owners and women-led businesses can access the credit they need to rebuild their businesses, rebuild their lives, and help revitalize the private sector," said Melinda Goode.

The project will also provide business development services aimed at creating a chain of small businesses that actively create jobs for women. The World Bank has said that creating a chain of manufacturing and financing companies for women-led small businesses will help them transform from informal savings groups to formal credit channels.

"The project will also establish a credit fund that will be implemented by the Aga Khan Foundation USA in Afghanistan. The credit fund will help eligible small and medium-sized enterprises that have benefited from business development services to: access to official financial channels".

Namooth Zaheer, senior financial expert and leader of the World Bank's working team for the project, said that the project (EMERGe) was developed after extensive consultations with stakeholders, including microfinance providers and chambers of commerce, especially those led by women. 

"This will help ensure that solutions are provided to open up access to finance for small businesses in Afghanistan and that the flow of donors to the sector becomes more sustainable," added Zaheer.

The World Bank called the vision of this project sustainable measures to support livelihoods, especially women, and said that being in the financial sector is a constant challenge in Afghanistan, so that nine out of 10 adults are excluded from the financial system. 

The World Bank has said: "Only five percent of Afghan women have some kind of financial bank account, while this figure is 10 percent for men. This is a major obstacle to women's economic empowerment and their participation in economic life."

The EMERGe project, which, according to the World Bank, like all projects supported by the bank and the Afghanistan Resilience Trust Fund from August 2021, includes special provisions to ensure that women benefit from the project's activities.

This project is supposed to be implemented in 15 provinces, including Badakhshan, Baghlan, Balkh, Bamyan, Daikundi, Faryab, Herat, Jawzjan, Kabul, Kunduz, Nangarhar, Parwan, Samangan, Sarpul and Takhar, in which the Aga Khan Foundation is active. 

The World Bank has undertaken this project while, according to the findings of a survey by the Bank, eight percent of businesses owned by women have been temporarily or permanently blocked in Afghanistan after August 2021.
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