Home Money Empowering Women-Led Businesses in Afghanistan: World Bank’s $16 Million Initiative

Empowering Women-Led Businesses in Afghanistan: World Bank’s $16 Million Initiative

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In a sign of major leap towards economic growth of Afghanistan, the World Bank has allocated an amount of $ 16Million for the funding of small businesses with the focal point on women who own or lead them. On April 3, through the Press Release, the organization’s initiative that focuses on the critical role of women entrepreneurs in the rebuilding of Afghan economy that is impaired by the conflicts and instability was launched.

The financing is directed through the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF) via the Aga Khan Foundation in the USA, and it is specifically tailored to beef up the country’s micro financial institutions. Ms. Melinda Good, currently serving as the World Bank country director for Afghanistan, who stressed the need to offer better financial resources, including for women. She insisted that helping small financial service provider’s form their positional structures should be one of the strategies to be taken into account in order to make the economy healthy in Afghanistan.

The project’s main goal is to reinforce the functioning of the small financial institutions that are currently inefficient and enable owners of small enterprises and women to borrow small amounts without high interests. Having done this, the businesses might not only fully recover, but also be in position to considerably contribute to the resurrection of the private sector which is a basic component of the economic development process in the country.

The scheme is based around the role of the Credit Guarantee Foundation of Afghanistan which first opened in 2004. The role of the World Bank is to enable the financial support of small and medium-businesses through credits guarantees and technical advice. 

The goal area of the project is 15 provinces, which are selected based on maximum area to have effect. Included among the provinces are Badakhshan, Balkh, Bamyan, Dykundi, Faryab, Herat, Jawzjan, Kabul, Kunduz, Nangarhar, Parwan, Samangan, Sar-e Pol, and Takhar. By targeting these regions, the initiative aims to reach underserved communities and unleash the entrepreneurial potential embedded within them.

The initiative comes to the critical moment when Afghan women start to get more and more interested in trade and investment and as a result of the emergence of national values of education and employment. The World Bank with its partners are investing not just in businesses but in socioeconomic emancipation of women by providing the necessary support and resources and thus are laying a solid basis for a better and fairer future.

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