KARACHI: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $20 million loan to help Khushhali Microfinance Bank Limited (KMBL) expand access to credit for agriculture-related borrowers and small businesses in Pakistan.

The assistance will help KMBL increase the provision of financial services to micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises from 5,700 at present to over 30,000 by 2020.

“Agriculture and small business are critical sectors in Pakistan’s economy that play a significant role in job creation and poverty reduction,” said ADB Private Sector Financial Institutions Division Director Christine Engstrom. “ADB’s assistance will help support KMBL’s goal to improve financial inclusion to these sectors through their extensive expertise and outreach to under-served populations.”

Additionally, women are expected to comprise up to 25% of the loan recipients. Also, a separate technical assistance program will support the establishment of a training academy as well as investments in KMBL’s technology up gradation program.

“ADB’s support will deepen the market penetration of KMBL into the rural economy and enhance access to small businesses vital to economic growth and prosperity,” KMBL President Ghalib Nishtar.

“In the past 16 years, KMBL has led the way towards financial inclusion by offering loans and savings products tailored to the low-income segment of the market, and empowering women entrepreneurs belonging to the marginalized communities by creating awareness and providing opportunities of financial access through its value propositions,” he added.

Currently, access to finance in the country is limited, with only 24% of the adult population having a bank account with a formal financial institution.

Meanwhile, KMBL has a nationwide presence in Pakistan with a network of 144 branches and the largest client base among microfinance banks in the country.

 

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