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5,000 women to benefit from Ghazanfar Bank new initiative

5,000 women to benefit from Ghazanfar Bank new initiative

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Aug 12, 2020 - 16:06

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): More than an estimated 5,000 womeninfo-icon are expected to directly benefit from a new initiative led by Ghazanfar Bank to improve their access to financial and non-financial services, the bankd said on Wednesday.

The move follows the signing of the first ever advisory agreement between Ghazanfar Bank  and IFC, a member of the Worldinfo-icon Bank Group, and aims to help Ghazanfar Bank develop a new market in the country through financing of women-owned small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), the bank said in a statement. 

The IFC’s advisory services project is supported by the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi), a multi-donor funded facility that supports women entrepreneurs by scaling up access to finance, markets, networks and mentors and information.

 “This is a landmark project for Afghanistaninfo-icon and we, along with all stakeholders are honored to partner with IFC for the development of an SME segment, the prime engine of industrial development,” said  Khisrow Fazli, Acting Chief Executive Officer of Ghazanfar Bank. “The engagement also recognizes the consistent support provided by the Bank to women entrepreneurs for the economic growth of our country by focusing on women-owned SMEs.”

Overall, access to finance is very limited in Afghanistan where only two percent of firms take out loans and only seven  percent of adult Afghan women have an account at a formal banking institution.

 “IFC will leverage its global expertise and knowledge to support Ghazanfar Bank in becoming a women’s banking champion in Afghanistan,” said Qamar Saleem, Financial Institutions Group, Advisory Manager for Asia & Pacific.

“We consider women entrepreneurs of micro, small and medium sized enterprises to be an important part of the local economy, and helping to ensure they have access to finance is a a critical tool to boost women’s economic and social empowerment. This agreement is part of IFC’s core agenda to create a market for enabling women MSMEs in countries where there is a dire need for finance for women.”

IFC is supporting women’s economic participation in Afghanistan through financial inclusion and capacity building.

Pr/ma

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