Empowering Afghan women through brave financial services
The current and historical instability in Afghanistan makes it one of the world’s most high-risk countries and therefore also one of the worst in terms of underinvestment.
So when The First MicroFinanceBank-Afghanistan (FMFB-A) approached FMO in 2017 with a €5 million financing request, we saw a perfect alignment with the goals of MASSIF, a fund FMO manages for the Dutch government intended for investments in fragile countries.
FMFB-A is a financially healthy bank that provides microloans to enable people from vulnerable groups such as 18 to 24-year-olds, refugees and women to start their own small companies. They already had a good relationship with FMO since 2008 and are a member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values. So despite the risks, reflected in the fact that management meetings would have to be held outside the country and FMO wouldn’t be able to visit projects, FMO managed to become comfortable with financing FMFB-A and it was decided to invest.