IFC Signs Agreement with the First Microfinance Bank of Afghanistan

Kabul, October 8 (Media-Newswire.com): a member of the World Bank Group, signed an agreement with the First Microfinance Bank of Afghanistan to help strengthen the bank’s capacity to introduce a product line that will address the housing needs of low- and middle-income Afghans. 



Muslim-ul-Haq, CEO of First Microfinance Bank of Afghanistan, said, “We are confident that with IFC’s advisory services we can offer products that help meet the housing needs of the majority of Afghans who currently do not have access to housing finance.” 



Syed Farhan Fasihuddin, IFC Manager for Housing Finance Advisory Services in Middle East and North Africa, said: “Our aim is to improve the living standards of people in Afghanistan’s economically challenged communities. We hope to build on our long-term relationship with the First Microfinance Bank of Afghanistan in our effort to achieve this objective.” 



In 2007, IFC conducted a study of Afghanistan’s housing sector, in collaboration with the World Bank, and recommended expanding the availability of mortgages and microfinance loans for housing. 

IFC helped establish First Microfinance Bank of Afghanistan in 2002, through an equity investment of $1 million. Recently, IFC furthered the relationship with the bank by extending a long-term loan of $4.5 million to support its expansion activities in microfinance, housing finance, and lending to small and medium enterprises. 



About IFC 



IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to improve their lives. New investments totaled $16.2 billion in fiscal 2008, a 34 percent increase over the previous year. For more information, visit www.ifc.org. 



About First MicrofinanceBank of Afghanistan 



The First Microfinance Bank of Afghanistan is a limited-liability company. It is Afghanistan’s leading financial-services provider. The bank contributes to economic development by providing sustainable financial services that targets micro and small businesses and individual households.